Welcome to San Diego Blog | January 13, 2015

New Condos vs Existing

To Buy a New or Existing Condo Downtown San Diego?

The purpose of this guide is to help you decide what’s best for you regarding purchasing a new condo versus an existing condo in downtown San Diego.   I’ll discuss the benefits and downside of both so you can weigh in on what’s best for your needs.

As we’ve already discussed in our recent article on New Bosa Condos coming to San Diego, the next new luxury high-rise tower located at the corner of Broadway and Pacific will likely be completed around the summer of 2017.  The sales office will be opening up in the spring of 2015 so stay tuned by joining our new condo interest list at the bottom of this article.  The building will include 232 new condos for sale ranging in size from 956 sf to 2083 sf.

Positives of a New Condo

  • Beautiful and Eloquent Architecture – let’s face it, this building is flat out sexy!
  • You can chose your color scheme – Bosa usually offers 3 different finish packages
  • You can add your upgrades right from the beginning without the hassle of remodeling.
  • There’s something about a new property and knowing that you are the only one that’s occupied the place that just makes for peaceful thinking.
  • Newest and latest in trends in appliances, cabinetry, textiles and materials…it’s fresh and trendy…(it’s like the new car smell, only its a condo)
  • All of the common areas are new and in beautiful condition.  This includes the work-out equipment, flatscreen TV’s, pool, BBQ’s, sauna, steam, everything is immaculate.
  • This is going to be a tall building – 41 stories would be the 2nd tallest residential tower in Downtown San Diego.

Negatives of Purchasing a New Condo

  • These new condos will come with a heavy premium on the price.
    • The average price projected for one of these properties is $1.75m
    • They are projecting an average of $1060 per square foot (ppf) which is much higher than what flats in most luxury towers are trading for today.
  • There will be a restaurant in the commercial space at ground level.  While we all like to eat at restaurants, they do make for funky smelling garages and lower floor units often smell food cooking from the kitchen vents.
  • Some of the views of this new project will eventually be obstructed by the development of the Navy Broadway Complex to the West and South West and by Bosa’s future high-rise tower at the site of the Office Depot.
  • The unknown of the culture and aura of the community, it’s owners, management, staff and its board members.  Trust me, they are not all the same and some HOA’s are more friendly and well run than others!
Some of the most important items to consider in making your decision are:
The Cost Component – Savvy buyers are  going to look at the cost so we tried to break the information down into what we thought would be most relevant to guide you in your condo purchase.  The big numbers to keep in mind are that Bosa is projecting the Broadway & Pacific (Parcel 9) project to have an average unit price of $1.75m and a price per square foot price (ppf) of $1060.  Below, we take a look at other luxury high-rise towers and how they stack up against those numbers (see the chart).
Our findings were dramatic.  If you take Bayside, Bosa’s newest completed condo building that was completed in 2009, for example, and compare the average sales price and price per foot against Broadway and Pacific, you would pay approximately 36% less today (per foot) for one of the best condos in San Diego, than if you waited for the new tower.  With the exception of Pinnacle Marina Tower, Bayside is the most expensive luxury tower we compared in the chart so the numbers are just more shocking as you go down the list:
  • The Grande (completed in 2003-2004) is at 47% less on ppf
  • Electra (completed in 2007) is at 46% less.
  • Pinnacle  (completed in 2004) is at 33% less on ppf
  • Park Place (completed in 2003) 38% less on ppf
Condo Building New Tower Bayside Electra The Grande Park Place Pinnacle
Average Sales Price 2014 $1,183,273 $757,429 $771,516 $945,444 $1,222,615
Median Sales Price 2014 $1,037,500 $739,500 $745,000 $885,000 $1,125,000
Average ppf 2014 $682 $577 $561 $658 $813
Highest Sale ppf 2014 $1,020 $885 $822 $909 $1,178
Proj Avg Sales price 2015 $1,254,269 $802,875 $817,807 $1,002,171 $1,295,972
Proj Avg ppf 2015 $723 $611 $595 $697 $862
Proj Avg Sales price 2016 $1,329,526 $851,047 $866,875 $1,062,301 $1,373,730
Proj Avg ppf 2016 $766 $648 $630 $739 $914
Proj Avg ppf 2017 $1,060 $812 $687 $668 $783 $969
ppf = price per foot   |  proj = projected
Condos at the Grande today are 47% less per sq ft of projected sales price for Bosa’s new tower at Pacific & Broadway
With the exception of Electra, which is considered 2nd row (behind the railroad tracks), all of these properties are similar in location.  The real estate is comparable in every one of these buildings.  If you are willing to wait until 2017, it may take a little bit to stomach the 20% premium at that time.  On the flipside, if you were to purchase a beautiful property like Bayside today, you’d pay 36% less than the projected 2017 prices for Pacific & Broadway.  Still, there’s something special about new and you are certainly entitled to your own opinion.
We have a number of friends that will buy in this new condo building and for them the price makes no difference.  They will feel like royalty sitting on their throne and that’s a great place to be.  On the other hand, others will choose properties a few years older at a discount, that just makes sense to them.  The good thing is that we all have our own desires and motivations, and so we hope to help you make the best decision for you.

Join our New Condo Interest List

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Written by: chad

Categories: Columbia District Real Estate, Luxury San Diego Condos, New Condos, New Developments

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