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General Discussion on Housing/Condo Market in Hampton Roads


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Well, my first post on UP had to be a new topic, but i've read your guys posts and replies, and you get some conversation going, so i wanted to get the ball rolling on this. I took a look around, didn't see a real discussion on it, but if i'm mistaken forgive me.

I'm a 23 y/o professional, i work in MacArthur Center, i'm the GM for about half the food court upstairs. I make a decent salary, which in the 'olden' days would be more than enough to qualify for virtually any house in the area. Due to the market boom, i've been outpriced of virtually every new project and established residences, with exceptions of Park Place, Poplar Halls, Little Creek, etc, places i would personally prefer not to live. It's frustrating to know that 6 years ago, i could have purchased my parents house in Va Beach (sold for 180K, now could get 350-375K) and can hardly afford to live in Campostella. My goal is to purchase a home in the next one to two years, preferably in downtown. I'd love to live in some of these condo projects that have been announced, mainly Harbor Heights and Granby Tower, but simply don't make the salary for their asking prices. The market is trending downward, not sharply but still noticeably, yet the projects are still astronomically priced, in my opinion. With demand decreasing (again, not sharply but still there) and supply rapidly increasing in the next year to three years, how is the condo market, specifically in downtown going to fare? For instance, Bobby Wright's buildings, 500 Granby, the Welton, etc, typically rent for about 1500 - 1700, depending on size, etc. 388 Boush just opened up, and in checking craigslist the speculators and agents are attempting to rent them out. The first post i saw was for a 1 BR/1BA for 1695 without parking included, for 800 sq feet. It blew my mind. Granted it's new construction, so there is a small premium, but it's borderline ridiculous.

In the next one to three years, Harbor Heights, Granby Tower, the Brambleton/York St apartmens, 201 21st St, Hoffler Tower, Rotunda, Hilton Condos, all these projects are going to flood the market. Is the market soft now, or going soft, and how will it react when 1200 - 2000 condos hit the market? I know there's some skepticism with some of the projects, i'm speaking in hypotheticals. I look forward to moving into downtown, i badly want to, but i've got my fingers crossed that the market kicks more my way, and the 400K condos we've seen announced start selling for 250 - 275K. Any thoughts?

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For right now the mall is...'content' for lack of a better word leaving it as is. The outdoor skating ring last year proved hugely successful, and this year they look forward to continued success. The rink will be twice the size, and they're looking for more sponsors. At one time Borders or Barnes & Noble was considering becoming the third anchor, but nothing much came of that. I'll talk to the mall GM next time i see him and ask him if there's been any new developments. For those that might care, H&M opens a 20K sq foot store in October, Apple is scheduled to open in the next two - three weeks, EQ3 (high end loft furniture for the condos in downtown) is a 20K sq foot store opening in October or November.

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