A Sabine Condos Auction?

UPDATE 01/05/2010: The Sabine auction has been confirmed.

UPDATE 02/28/2010: The Sabine auction results!

This should be interesting…

In a conversation with a credible source I learned that CWS, the developer of the Sabine condos in downtown Austin, is on an almost certain trajectory to place the remaining units at the Sabine condos up for auction.

Information is a little spotty, but 20-25 undetermined units could be auctioned off in mid-October, just in time for buyers to qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyers tax credit. The remaining units would be sold in the open market.

In February, a group of owners filed a lawsuit against the Sabine HOA, controlled by CWS, which has prevented any units from being sold since then.

This would be the second downtown Austin auction, the first being Brazos Place.

Updates will soon be forthcoming. 🙂


p.s. As a current resident/owner, and former listing agent for the Sabine, I have a personal interest in this story. Investors and buyers desiring original pricing, unit availability, and insights into the building and specific units to pursue/avoid should contact me directly – judegalligan [@] gmail.com

Sage Condos Auction Results

[non-downtown related news, but should be of interest to most DAB readers]

The remaining 23 units at the Sage Condos, located on 1702 S. Lamar, were auctioned off today. JP. King was the auctioneer of the “highest bidder’s choice” style auction where the winning bidder could choose to purchase any unit for the amount of the winning bid. The video above is of the first auction.

Including the 10% buyers premium, the average winning bid was $131 per foot, and prices ranged from $151,250-253,000.

I estimate 300 people were in attendance, perhaps 1/3 of those were registered bidders, the other 2/3 being spouses, friends & family, etc. Though originally slated for only 10 absolute auctions, the developer was on-site and confirmed all but five of the winning bids. The units were offered “as-is.” The bidding interest favored the units with downtown Austin views.

PDF of winning bids


p.s. you’ll notice the video is labeled austincondoauction.com. That will soon become the repository for all the auction results and discussion – as soon as I work the bugs out 🙂

Auction Systems

The auction of the Sage Condos will use a different system than the auction at Brazos Place or the Bel Air.  Rather than auction each individual unit, the auctions are for the right to choose which unit you want.  Everyone bids and the highest bidder gets to choose the unit he/she wants. The auctioneer repeats this process until 10 units are sold.

The different models necessitate different tactics.  For instance, at the Brazos Place auction, a buyer was able to study the units they wanted and were only required to participate in the auctions for those specific units.  Collectively, with only those interested in the same units, buyers would only participate in the auctions for those units.  Conversely, the auction system being used at the Sage encourages all buyers to bid in every auction.

At the Sage, if I simply want the best deal – without regard to view, size, etc – then I am still competing with other buyers that DO want a premiere unit and are willing to bid more to win the right to choose that unit.  It is hard to say if this would encourage or discourage me from bidding.  This system should clear out the premiere units early.  Most likely, those that want the choice of premiere units will bid early and aggressively.  Those that want the best deal at the Sage will bid in subsequent auctions once the premiere units are absorbed.

It remains to be seen if the bidding system used at the Sage will be of greater benefit to the Seller by encouraging more bidders and higher bids.

The Bel Air auction is this Sunday.   The Sage auction is a couple of weeks from now.


[Update from local auctioneer, Mike Hanley: “This is called the Multi Parcel Auction Method. It can be very effective!  I have seen it used at Sheldon Good Auctions of Condos in Dallas,a Tranzon-Hanley Auction in Wimberly and have used it myself for the sale of undeveloped land in Utah and New Mexico.”]

Sage Austin Condos Going To Auction

Sage On South Lamar

Sage On South Lamar

[non-downtown news]

I just learned that the Sage condos on South Lamar (about a mile south of Alamo Ritz) will be auctioned off on Saturday, August 22nd by J.P. King.  This is the second auction announcement this week as the Bel Air condos on South Congress will go to auction on Sunday, August 9th.

The Sage has 32 units total, 24 will be auctioned, 10 will be sold through absolute auction (i.e. without reserve).  It is a great time to be a buyer.  Details on previewing access and opening bids are sparse.  More to come.


The Bel Air Condos Auction

The Bel Air Condos Auction

Many units have a full floor roof top terrace

Many units have a full floor roof top terrace

OK, non-downtown Austin related news here.  The Bel Air condos are located deep in South Austin, but I’m confident many DAB readers will appreciate knowing about this before it hits the PR wires.

Kennedy Wilson’s website indicates that the Bel Air condos in South Austin will be going to auction on August 9th.  Kennedy Wilson is the same group that auctioned Brazos Place.  Located on South Congress, past Ben White, and not far from Hills Cafe, the Bel Air is a unique product in a unique location.  Although not downtown, the Bel Air condos have always appealed to me: they’re designed to commercial specs, they’re raw, industrial, and highly functional spaces.  Some units have full floor roof top terraces.

Bel Air Condos Availability

Bel Air Condos Availability

Bidding begins at $90k.  As we all know by now, this is a ruse.  It’s doubtful this auction will generate the buzz and turnout we observed at the Brazos Place auction.  My prediction is the condos will sell for an average 30-40% discount from original asking price, or at least more than what we would see in the downtown CBD.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  Unlike foreclosure auctions which require cash on the spot, private auctions are more buyer friendly as buyers can have up to 30 days to close if they are pre-approved for a mortgage.

Bel Air features:
• Rooftop decks
• Private direct access garages
• Private balconies
• Commercial grade construction: steel and concrete
• Green Building Features
• Loft design: Concrete floors, high ceilings, exposed ductwork
• Tankless water heaters
• Energy efficient appliances

For my investor clients, here is a link to the Bel Air condos auction brochure and registration form. (pdf, 6MB)

Preview by appointment Showing hours 11-6pm everyday, and there are several photos of Bel Air available on Flickr.

Jude Galligan, Realtor