Industry News

Real estate site levels playing field for condo auctions

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Average consumers are sometimes locked out of preconstruction sales of condominium units, but a new online auction site aims to change that, said Tony Isbell of Condobid.com. Isbell, executive vice president of operations for the upstart CondoBid.com auction site, said that developers sometimes offer first dibs at new condominium units to "a select group" that can include friends and business associates. "We are replacing the offering system that developers are using, which we feel is unfair to the general public," he said. The current system employed by some developers, he said, "is very similar to an IPO with a stock offering – if you're not in, you're not going to get in." Investors who buy in the early phases of construction will sometimes sell the property once a down payment is due, and in some cases "they will resell or flip those units to someone else – and sometimes it's another speculator," Isbell said. The end result is that condo prices can rise substantially ...