Sunday, January 11, 2009

English as a Second Language

You know that familiar lie about the importance of buying right now because of the influx of rich foreign investors coming ashore to snap up all the good properties?

Well, I actually think the Kool-Aid drinkers are right about that one. Except the foreigners aren't coming here to buy properties. No, apparently they're here to sell them:

Great Opportunity to live in one of Long Beach's most fine apartment buildings. The 'International Tower' with a view of the Queen Mary, Marina, and the Ocean. This is a true meteropolitian experience.

"meteropolitian"? Two typos in one word?!

Boy, with a listing description like that, I'm shocked some Sony executive hasn't flown in on his G4 to swoop this place up.

Good lord, after 264 days you'd think the six-percenter would spruce the listing up a bit, no? And, oh, I dunno, ADD A FREAKING PHOTO OR TWO. Dude, I shouldn't have to tell you this, but foreigners live in foreign lands--the Internet is a handy tool for them to scope out properties before flying over here to buy them.

Forgetting for a moment that this is a global recession and the dollar, although beaten and bruised, is still doing considerably better than many currencies, why on earth would a rich foreign buyer want to pay half a million clams for a one bedroom?

Further, why wouldn't they just buy the larger two bedroom, also with ocean views (that particular ESL agent refers to it as an "uobstructed" view), for less money?

This building is an unmitigated disaster, folks. At least 18 units for sale and hardly anything moving. The average Days on Market for the building is 108! Overpriced much?

And keep in mind, that 108 average includes five units going on sale during the last 11 days, and doesn't include the units that have been re-listed. For example, #607, our featured property, has technically been on the market since February of 2007! Damn dude! Almost two years?

No amount of Swiss telecom moguls or Taiwanese household electronics magnates are going to save this building. Especially given the increasingly tightening lending standards, it will be a hard sell finding buyers at these prices.

Which means asking prices will inevitably come back down to earth from the 32nd floor. And by "come back down," I mean JUMP OFF THE BALCONY RAIL IN A FIT OF SUICIDAL DESPERATION AND HIT THE ASPHALT FACE-FIRST.

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