Market rate for some struggling city condos is being dictated by the highest auction bidder.
The developers of the Solaria, a 20-story modern glass tower in Riverdale, has sold just 10 of its 64 luxury units since 2006.
With little hope for a sudden rush of buyers they are auctioning off apartments this Sunday. Bidding on the apartments, once listed at $660,000, will start at $300,000.
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It’s the city’s first high-end high-rise to go to auction in more than a decade, Joseph Korff, of Arc Development, said.
“The local community couldn’t get their arms around it,” he noted. Since Riverdale had no other new condos “they couldn’t figure out how to price it.”
If last week’s auction of four condos in a 16-unit Greenpoint building is any indication, buyers are getting cuts of more than 30 percent. A 983-square-foot one-bedroom with a yard that listed at $550,000, for instance, was sold for $367,500.
Jim Corum, of the California-based Real Estate Disposition Corporation, which is holding Solaria’s event, said auctions are “becoming an acceptable way of moving real estate.”
Solaria’s auction, Korff hopes, will provide a “sense of urgency” for buyers who’ve been on the fence.