Who would have ever thought we'd see bidding wars over downtown condos with many units selling in a matter of hours and days? This is the reality of the Madison condo market. The condo lifestyle is "in". First-time buyers and down-sizers alike are jumping into a market that has a limited supply of inventory. Prices are rising and many units are selling very quickly.
This isn't the dynamic for every condo development in town, but there are a number of Madison condominium communities that have become extremely popular with local buyers. These popular communities have become "mini sellers markets" where a well-priced unit is almost guaranteed a quick sale.
Our list of popular condominium communities covers the hottest developments in town. For every development on our list, the market statistics paint the picture of a sellers market. If your goal is to buy in any of these communities you should be prepared to act quickly when a new listing hits the MLS. Better yet, put a plan in place that helps you find a condo before anyone else knows it's available for sale. Talk to a full-service buyer agent about how she can make this happen for you.
These condos at 311 N. Hancock Street offer a great value proposition in downtown Madison. A two bedroom condo with modern finishes can be purchased for well under $300,000, which can be a very tough find in the downtown market. There is one active listing as of this post, and it received an accepted offer the same day that it went on the market. Seven listings have sold in the last year with an average days on market of only 25 days. Four of these 7 listings sold in two days or less.
There are a total of 75 units at the 4th Ward Lofts with 12 of them selling in the last year. As of this post, there are two active MLS listings in the development. One of these listings received an accepted offer within 5 days of being listed. The other received an accepted offer after 10 days. These popular condos are located just a few blocks southwest of the capitol square. Buyers value these properties for their high quality construction and their modern, industrial feel.
There are a total of 54 units at Bedford Court with 7 selling in the last year. The average days on market for the 7 recent sales was only 27 days. There are no active listings within the development right now, but when the next one does hit it is likely to sell very quickly. These condos offer a location and architecture similar to the units at the 4th Ward Lofts.
These condos don't come on the market often, but when they do they sell quickly. There are a total of 48 properties within High Point Gardens with a total of 3 listings selling on the MLS within the past year. One of the listings sold within two days and for the full list price. Another listing sold within 3 days, also for the full list price. Buyers value these condos for their open floor plans, vaulted ceilings, and convenient west side location.
These units on Madison's west side were once a tough sell. Now they are among the most popular condos in all of Madison. Seventeen units sold within the last year with an average days on market of only 22 days. Ten of the 17 sales had a days on market of 8 days or less. Currently there are only 3 Tamarack Trails listings on the MLS, and all three listings have accepted offers.
These high-end Monroe Street condominiums are a big draw with a coveted near west side location. One active listing is on the MLS right now, and it received its accepted offer within 10 days of hitting the open market. These are true pedestrian-friendly condos which offer excellent access to the University of Wisconsin Campus, Downtown Madison, and everything Monroe Street has to offer.
Sequoya Commons is now completely sold out of its new construction units. There are two active re-sale listings on the MLS right now. Thirteen listings sold in the last year with 5 of them selling within 10 days or less. Buyers value these condos for their tremendous near west side location. Sequoya Commons offers excellent access to Hilldale Mall, the University of Wisconsin, Downtown Madison, and even Epic Systems.
These popular near east side condos at 1835 Winnebago Street are completely sold out with no re-sale units currently available for sale. Given the relative shortage of available units in the area, the next re-sale is likely to go very quickly.
Not long ago Capitol West had dozens of unsold units. Now these downtown condos are completely sold out, and all that remains is re-sale inventory. Currently there is one active listing on the MLS, and it received an accepted offer on the day it hit the open market.
Metropolitan Place was once in receivership. Now these condos are the symbol of downtown Madison's thriving condo market. A total of 33 Metropolitan Place Condos have sold in the last year. Although there are over 330 units at Metropolitan Place, only ten units are currently listed on the MLS. Five of these 10 already have an accepted offer.
Tips for Buying in Madison's Hot Condo Market
Supply is low and demand is high. These tips will help you find and buy the right condo in our hot sellers market.
Hire a full-service buyer agent.A good buyer agent will help you uncover all stones and act quickly once you've found the right condo.
Receive instant property updates from the MLS.Your buyer agent will set you up on a property search that will notify you immediately when a new condo matching your criteria hits the MLS. Instant MLS notifications are essential in our hot condo market.
Check out the websites, fsbomadison.com and craigslist.These are Madison's most popular FSBO sites, and your future condo might be listed on one of them.
Use Google.Niche FSBO websites continue to emerge over time. Your future condo could be listed on one of these relatively unknown sites. Google can help you uncover listings on these small FSBO websites. For example, if you would like to check for FSBO listings at the Metropolitan Place, you would "google" a term like "metropolitan place FSBO condo for sale". This is also a good tactic for finding listings on craigslist, which can be difficult to navigate.
Don't rely on Zillow and Trulia as your primary tools.Neither of these sites have the timely listing information (and accuracy) that's absolutely essential in a hot market. Plus neither Trulia nor Zillow display which properties have accepted offers. This is a key piece of information when properties are selling quickly.
Use strategies to uncover unlisted condos. Your buyer agent can help you implement a number of strategies that will help you find available condos before anyone else knows they're available for sale. These strategies include calling condo association managers, calling condo owners, sending letters to condo owners, door knocking, and checking on previously expired listings.
Know the market in you targeted condo developments.Study up on your targeted condo communities.Learn how many units have sold in the last year, how quickly they're selling, and how prices are trending. Ask your agent about how many listings have expired, as well. This information will help you prepare to make the right offer when the right unit becomes available for sale.
Act quickly. Once you learn about a promising new condo listing, schedule a showing right away. Have your pre-approval letter ready to go. Then be prepared to submit your offer immediately. Those who blink in this tight market will miss out on the opportunity to buy.
Don't lowball. If you and your buyer agent know your condo market (see #7 above), you'll be prepared to write the right offer. By and large this market is much different from the condo market from several years ago. Several years ago the market was a lot about getting an incredible deal. This market is about getting the right condo.
Be persistent. This market requires buyers and buyer agents to work a little harder, and sometimes a little longer. Make sure you have a good plan in place for finding the right unit. Then keep at it. Just like anything else you'll be rewarded for your efforts.
More about our Most Popular Condos List
We created our Madison top 10 condo list as one way to communicate how the local condominium market has changed from a buyers market to a sellers market. The truth is there are many more condo developments in Madison that have market dynamics similar to the condos in our list. There are also a few condo developments in town that are still stuck in a buyers market. Your buyer agent can help you understand which condo developments are hot and which are not, and structure your offer to purchase appropriately.
This article is published courtesy of: Dan Miller, REALTOR Mad City Dream Homes & RE/MAX Preferred