Buena Vista Custom Homes sold 141 of its 240 Portland-area inventory homes during an unprecedented Oregon sale on December 15 and 16, the company said.
In one swoop, owner Roger Pollock garnered $65 million in liquidity and put a dent in the market's standing inventory at a two-day auction that drew 2,209 attendees.
Buena Vista set reserve prices to mirror costs, but 96% of the homes sold ended up selling below the reserve price. Still, Buena Vista was satisfied with the outcome.
"When we say that 96% of the homes sold under the reserve price, that tells you that we didn't come out of this in the black," said company spokesperson Mike Higgins. "But we set out to sell the homes, and we were able to achieve that. Overall, it was a loss, but we had to weigh that with the costs of holding on to it for the next 18 to 24 months."
Homes offered at auction ranged from 1,113 to 5,073 square feet and were located in some high-demand areas around the Portland metro area. Additionally, 29 homes were included in the Bend market. Homes sold from as low as $195,000 for a 3 bedroom 2½ bath home in Sandy, Ore. to $510,000 for a 5,073-square-foot, 4 bedroom 3 bath home in the Shadow Ridge subdivision in Happy Valley.
Virtually all areas were strong sellers with two exceptions: the 29 homes being offered in Bend and Buena Vista's portfolio of 30 rental homes. None of the homes in Bend sold and few of the rentals found buyers.
Higgins said he suspected that the three-hour drive from Bend to the Oregon Convention Center, where the auction was held, was a deterrent to the potential buyers from that area, since only 15 % of the pre-registered bidders from the local Bend market actually ended up attending the event. The company is considering an additional auction held locally to move those inventory homes.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Bend, OR.