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Boston's Condo Auction Experiment a 'Complete Failure'

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Over the weekend developer Vornado Realty Trust auctioned off 10 luxury condos in The Bryant, a new 50-unit brick building on the border of Boston's Back Bay and South End neighborhoods. Why do we care? Because developers holding on to unsold "shadow inventory" in NYC have been quietly keeping an eye on this auction. Vornado's hypothesis: That luxury condos can and will maintain their value (value according to the developers, that is) at auction. So how did it turn out? The Boston Herald reports that most of the units sold for around $1.3 million after being listed for $1.7 million to $2.2 million. Doesn't sound like the end of the world, but one broker called it a "complete failure for the developer," adding, "The units averaged $671 per square foot with parking. That's not good news for Vornado. Buyers are paying $700 per square foot in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill for walk-ups without parking." Ouch, does this mean auctions are out as NYC's next big sales gimmick? Greenpoint, it's up to you, little buddy.
· Buyers hit condo jackpot [Boston Herald]