Notre Dame Condo and Townhouse Sales in 2010 – Most Are Not in the MLS

by Nick Molnar on January 14, 2011

When I started in real estate, a smart Realtor about to leave for another field waved a sheaf of MLS printouts – the pages that detail square feet, price, etc. and said “We’re nothing without these.” She may have been joking, but she was on to something.

The MLS is a great resource. Hundreds of Realtors feed information on sales and for sale homes into it, and it makes it simple to search most of the homes for sale and to find the ones that fit your criteria. It is what you search when you click on “search homes” in the sidebar on the right side of your screen. The MLS also enables Realtors to see past sales prices and determine value. Ultimately it eases real estate sales and has become the primary source of property information in the market.

But there are some sales that never hit the MLS. For-Sale-By-Owner Homes aren’t in it, and some new construction isn’t input either. When a few sales aren’t in the MLS but many are, it doesn’t usually degrade the analysis of those depending on it. But when the bulk of a market sells outside the MLS, any Realtor that depends on it solely for info won’t really know what is happening. Unless they visit the neighborhoods, talk to buyers, sellers and builders, and search public records, they might miss most of the action and never know it.

Condos and townhouses near Notre Dame are one such market, especially in the new and newer developments like Champion’s Way at Eddy Street Commons and Ivy Quad. Developers are not entering sales information into the MLS and many won’t give clear answers when asked about sales prices.

If you check only the MLS, it looks like there were 24 condo or townhouse sales in the 15 developments that I consider the Notre Dame market. But I found 68 sales by looking at the deeds recorded with the county – only one third of the sales are in the MLS. The situation is even more extreme in the newer complexes. There are 7 sales in the MLS but I found 44 by checking deeds – just 16% of the sales are in the MLS.

It’s quick and easy to search the MLS for sales data, and for many neighborhoods that’s enough to yield good results. But it’s slow and tricky to learn a market that doesn’t report its sales in the MLS and it takes time. Here are my files on Notre Dame condos/townhouses as I was transferring them into Excel recently.

They came from the MLS, county records, visiting the complexes, talking to the builders and people who bought there. And I’m constantly working to keep them current and accurate as more sales occur, developers change floor plans and delivery schedules, and some projects even change hands midstream. If you’ve got an opinion to share or a question to ask about any of these communities, call or e-mail me.  I want to talk to you.  Not to sell you anything or put you on a spam list, but to hear what you think and to better understand this under-reported market.

I’ll share these files and profile the progress and sales at different development projects in later posts, but let’s start simple, here are the number of sales that closed at each complex in 2010.

  • 15 sales at Ivy Quad
  • 12 sales at Stonebridge
  • 10 sales at Champions Way at Eddy Street Commons
  • 6 sales at Woodbridge
  • 6 sales at North Shore Club
  • 5 sales at Dublin Village
  • 4 sales at Irish Crossings
  • 4 sales at Oak Hill
  • 2 sales at New London Lake
  • 1 sale at Stadium Village
  • 1 sale at Keenan Court
  • 1 sale at North Douglas
  • 1 sale at Jamison
  • no sales at River Point
  • no sales at Wexford Place

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Irish Eyes January 15, 2011 at 1:55 am

Cool……I realize it is a lot of work to dig up the records down there at the County-City building. It is good to know there’s a real estate agent out there doing the real ground work. That will help buyers make a more fully informed and prudent purchase decision. Plus, I like how you post ACTUAL home/unit photos in your listings….unlike some lazy realtors out there that post photos that aren’t of that actual home/unit….. go (irish) figure. Few will get that inside joke I bet.

I am of the opinion that developers that don’t put info in the MLS typically are selling for prices lower than what they would like and don’t want the comps known.

15 sales at Ivy Quad – PRICES WILL PROBABLY BE LOWER THAN WHAT PEOPLE WOULD EXPECT. WITH ONLY ABOUT 30% OF S.F. SOLD, THIS DEVELOPMENT HAS A LOOOOOOONG WAY TO GO IF IT CAN MAKE IT TO THE FINISH LINE (AGAIN, THERE’S AN “IF” THERE). I REMAIN VERY CAUTIOUS. IF THE NEW CLARE FLATS PRICE UNDER $250K THEY WILL SELL DECENTLY…IF UNDER $200K THEY WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO BUILD THEM FAST ENOUGH.

12 sales at Stonebridge – DIFFERENT MARKET THAN MOST ND BUYERS. THEY ADJUSTED THERE PRODUCT AND HAVE GOTTEN A BETTER RESPONSE. THE ATTENTION TO CONSTRUCTION DETAIL IS A BONUS HERE. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPER THAT WILL DO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO TO SELL OUT THE DEVELOPMENT.

9 sales at Champions Way at Eddy Street Commons – DOES THIS INCLUDE THE SALES TO ND? WILL BE INTERESTING TO KNOW IF ND GOT A DEAL OR WHAT. REAL ESTATE IS ALWAYS INTERESTING WHEN AN INVESTOR COMES IN (IN THIS CASE ND) AND TRIES TO SET A FLOOR ON MARKET PRICES. WHEN INVESTORS BUY A BIG CHUNK, I ALWAYS THINK THERE IS A BIT OF MARKET MANIPULATION OUT THERE SO WILL BE GOOD TO GET THE NUMBERS OUT IN THE OPEN.

6 sales at Woodbridge – BARGAIN PRICES…AND BARGAIN PRICES ON SOME LARGER UNITS EVEN IF NEED REMODELING INSIDE. STILL A DECENT LOCATION. WASN’T THERE SOME FOR LIKE $50/S.F. THAT SOLD?

6 sales at North Shore Club – MOSTLY BECAUSE OF LOW PRICES, NOT JUST ND RELATED BUYERS.

5 sales at Dublin Village – ESTABLISHED AND PRICED LOWER THEN SOME OF THE NEWER DEVELOPMENTS…AND FAVORABLE LEASING RULES FOR NON-OWNER OCCUPIED UNITS. HOWEVER, SOME FIRST BUYER INVESTOR UNITS WILL BE GOING RESALE.

4 sales at Irish Crossings – IN MY OPINION, THE BEST DEVELOPMENT OUT THERE….SPACE, PARKING, FLOORPLANS. A FEW OF THE EARLY BUYERS WERE INVESTOR TYPES (MIGHT HAVE NEVER BEEN LIVED IN) SO THEY WILL BE PUTTING THEIR UNITS ON THE MARKET…

2 sales at New London Lake – THERE WERE A COUPLE OF DEALS IN THERE (WITH ONE REALLY GOOD DEAL). A WELL KEPT DEVELOPMENT IN A CONVENIENT LOCATION ALBEIT OLDER THAT MOST WOULD NEED REMODELING ON THE INSIDE.

1 sale at Stadium Village – GETTING IT WRAPPED UP BUT THE LAST ONES ARE SLOW TO MOVE….A FEW INVESTOR UNITS THAT WILL GO TO RESALE TOO SO THE DEVELOPMENT REALLY IS ONLY ABOUT 1/2 SOLD OUT TO END BUYERS IF YOU DON’T ACCOUNT FOR THE INVESTOR UNITS.

1 sale at Keenan Court – DEAD….DOA. SOMEONE THOUGHT THEY WERE GETTING A GOOD DEAL IN 2010 I SUPPOSE….BUT NOT IF THEY EVER PLAN ON RESELLING THIER UNIT IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS OR SO. IF OWNER-OCCUPIED, PROBABLY GOT A GOOD DEAL TO LIVE IN BUT AGAIN, WHO WILL EVER BUY IT FROM THEM IN A DEVELOPMENT THAT IS DEAD AND NOT BEING BUILT OUT???

1 sale at North Douglas – DEAD, PADDLES, CHARGE, CLEAR, FAINT PULSE…..FLAT LINE……… SHOULDA BEEN APARTMENTS FROM THE GET GO BUT A TOUCH OF GREED (TRYING TO SELL TO ND MARKET) DID THEM IN. THEY WERE REASONABLY PRICED BUT NO GARAGES, NOT CLOSE ENOUGH TO ND. SHOULDA BEEN APARTMENTS, SHOULDA BEEN APARTMENTS, SHOULDA BEEN APARTMENTS. THE NEW OWNERS. WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE NEW OWNERS OF THE DEVELOPMENT – BANKO CAPITAL – SOMEONE SHOULD TELL THEM TO BUILD APARTMENTS FOR THE REST OF THE DEVELOPMENT. THIS DEVELOPMENT MAY PROVE TO BE A BIGGER BIT THAN THEY CAN SWALLOW.

1 sale at Oak Hill – LOOKS LIKE THEY GOT 15 YEARS OF UNITS TO SELL IF THEY ONLY SELL ONE PER YEAR. BUBBLE???….HECK YA IT WAS. NEED TO REALLY REDUCE PRICES. GONNA HAVE A CAPITAL LOSS ON THESE MOMMA.

1 sale at Jamison – WAS THAT JAMISON RESIDENCES OR JAMISON HOUSE……I THINK THAT WAS ONE IN THE RESIDENCES RIGHT???

no sales at River Point – AHHHHH, THE FIRST ND TOWNHOME DEVELOPER FROM EARLY 2000’S…..FROM CHICAGO, WENT BANKRUPT. NEVER DID BUILD THE REST OF THE BUILDINGS A DECADE LATER. THE OTHER BUILDINGS WILL PROBABLY NEVER GET BUILT. IS THE EAMPLE THAT KEENAN COURT AND NORTH DOUGLAS WILL BE.

no sales at Wexford Place – ONLY ONE FOR SALE ANYWAY….AND IT IS A NICE UNIT. NOTHING THAT A PRICE ADJUSTMENT WON’T FIX. PRICE IT AT A BARGAIN AND IT WILL SELL.

2011 is gonna be a tough year I’m afraid…best wishes.

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Nick Molnar January 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

Correction… 4 sales at Oak Hill, I’ve updated the article.

There is a lot to cover at the various communities. I’ll highlight one or a few at a time over the next few weeks and hope to foster a candid discussion of them in the comments.

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Nick Molnar January 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

I found a deed for another 2010 sale at Champion’s Way in Eddy Street Commons, bringing the total to ten. It closed 12-30-10 and took a few days to be recorded in the public records. Numbers updated above.

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