Condominiums in South Euclid, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights and all Greater Cleveland: is anyone interested?

By
Real Estate Agent with Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution BRK 2007000844

I know that many people will agree with me: condominium life style is great and convenient, but it's not good for everyone. The idea of owning a condo in South Euclid, Lyndhurst or other areas of Greater Cleveland looks great at first sight: you pass some serious responsibilities like grass cutting and snow removal (do not forget, we live in Cleveland!) on the association in exchange of some reasonable fee. You share some common space with your friendly neighbors who are responsible homeowners, too. You get a nice, maintenance and care free - like many of us REALTORS like to advertise - condominium style living.

Why then the popularity of condominiums in Greater Cleveland, even the very nice ones like The Lofts of South Euclid, dropped dramatically within last few years? Why do my condo sellers expect the magics from me to attract  the buyers to their nice well cared units?                 magician

Why then statistics is so bad for condo sales? According to Realist.com, number of condo sales in Cuyahoga County  in 2008 is significantly lower than in the same period of 2007. And you know that 2007 was not the greatest year in real estate sales in Greater Cleveland.

Sales Statistics
for CUYAHOGA County OH
Realist's most recent recording date for this county is 06/27/2008

 Single Family Residence
 Time Period Number of Sales Median Sale Price 
 May 2008 856 $131,000 
 May 2007 1,272 $134,250 
 Apr 2008 772 $132,000 
 Apr 2007 979 $129,000 
 2008 YTD 3,884 $130,000 
 2007 12,118 $132,000 

 Condominium
 Time Period Number of Sales Median Sale Price 
 May 2008 79 $122,000 
 May 2007 140 $124,000 
 Apr 2008 85 $122,500 
 Apr 2007 119 $110,000 
 2008 YTD 431 $118,000 
 2007 1,419 $115,000 

Few specific reasons contributed to the loss of demand for condominiums in Greater Cleveland during last two or three years. One of them was the mark up of maintenance fees in 2006-2007. Sometimes it was due to poor management, sometimes - due to aging and need of major improvements, sometimes - due to meeting of the state requirements of all condos being fully funded. No matter what the reasons were, maintenance fees skyrocketed and, as a result, the prices (and equity of condominium owners!) dropped down. New mortgage rules - especially those about the higher down payment requirements and lower debt-to income ratio added to this sad picture. We lost a big pool of young buyers who preferred to buy the houses instead of condos as it became much easier to finance the house purchase than condo.

Another reason is the rules and regulations of many condo associations, which have and add a lot of limitations like no rent, no pets, no antennas, etc. When associations adopted these rules, they sounded pretty reasonable. But times change and now many of these rules just ruin the possible sales.

Anyway, condo lifestyle still attracts a lot of people. If you are not affected by new financing rules, if you feel comfortable with some reasonable limitations and love to live in a convenient, accessible, friendly and beautiful neighborhood - The Lofts at Mayfield Rd. in South Euclid is the great choice!

Please call Local-n-Global Realty 216-548-4663 and ask about private tour to see a very nice first floor unit, which is offered for sale for just $119,900! Please visit http://www.4685Mayfield.com to find more info about this unit and beautiful neighborhood.

Sincerely,

Svetlana Stolyarova, Local-n-Global Realty

Broker, Marketing specialist

Realty@Local-n-Global.com

216-548-4663     440-247-5388

 

 

Comments (7)

Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Another issue some of the condos have here is shared utilities like water and sewer and gas as a part of the HOA dues. Nobody is rewarded for saving. Consumption is transparent. It's jacking up the fees.

Jul 10, 2008 05:11 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Svetlana:  I think that condominiums and their popularity are very much "lifestyle" related.  As such, trying to expect them to compete with traditional forms of housing can be very painful at times.  The slice of the pie of buyers for a condo is often so much smaller in a place like Cleveland than it is in other areas.  In Dallas in the early 90's... for a few years condos in North Dallas were the rage... until they lost in popularity, and ended up dropping about 70% of their original value.  So, like anything else in real estate... popularity simply "depends" on so many things.  Thanks for sharing.

Jul 10, 2008 05:18 PM
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Vickie, I agree. I feel sorry for many condo owners today: equity is melting, dues are growing. Happily, condos still offer a lot of advantages. Maybe, more involvement in management or some new rules will not hurt.

Jul 10, 2008 05:23 PM
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Karen, thank you for your insight. It's very interesting about Dallas. 70 % loss is a lot. It's also interesting that the builders today in Cleveland tend to form not condominiums but so called single family homes' associations (though these homes are attached and have shared walls, roof, etc.) in order to avoid at least some problems which prevent people from buying condo. Thank you very much!

Jul 10, 2008 05:31 PM
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO

I've been doing this for six years and the entire time condo sales have always been just a bit harder than single family detached homes. I agree with the above comment that it's all about your lifestyle. Some people do not want to ever mow the grass! I do think there are people who are 'on the fence' when they look at condos; should I buy a free standing home or a condo? Now that home prices are lower, some of them are probably buying the single families. I really liked the information here, and the link to the South Euclid loft.  It looks very good. And even at $177 maintenance fee, that is still lower than many other complexes.  Good luck with the sale!

Jul 12, 2008 11:01 AM
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Carole, thank you for your comment. You are right: some buyers really changed their minds and decided in favor of single family homes. That's true when people chose between condo and single family home. I had two young couples this year who after brainstorming on condo vs. home advantages and disadvantages decided to buy the SFHs. Their decisions were driven mostly by financial issues. 

There are situations though, when people decide not to buy at all after reviewing the lifestyle limitatios and instability of condo fees. In condo vs. rent dilemma condominiums lose to rent.

Jul 13, 2008 04:40 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Svetlana:  Carole's advice is as good as gold.  She really knows her stuff.  That is one reason why I try and read all of her posts.  By the way, her outside blog is great... give it a read and you will agree.

Jul 13, 2008 02:39 PM