Of course, few people assumed that the Millennium Tower would go the rest of its functional life as a building without ever selling another home. (Although you could probably have gotten some outside betting odds for it.) It was only a question of how long it would take and how much it would be for?
Now we know: Unit #18F changed hands on September 8, five full weeks after the city (and entire world) learned about the tower’s sinking prospects. Since it was never listed on MLS, the sale largely flew under the radar until the city updated their own records.
Despite the bad press, the new buyers (one Qian Zhuang and Michael Liao) felt that the two-bed, two-bath condo was worth a very respectable $2.3 million. Amazingly, that’s $500,000 more than its next most recent sale back in May of 2012.
People working with Millennium Tower homeowners tell us that there have been other sales in the building at losses as some owners decide throw in the towel and take what they can get. This is the first we’ve heard of a profitable post-sink sale.
What kind of person buys into a building mired in so much bad news? Probably someone who sees it as an opportunity. "It could be that some people who would never be able to afford a home in a building like this might see now as their one big opportunity to get in," says attorney David Casselman.
(Though based in Southern California, Casselman now has hundreds of clients in the building as he works with the Homeowner’s Association prepping for what may turn out to be a flurry of lawsuits, although nobody is technically being sued yet.)
There are also probably speculators who just see an opportunity to buy cheap and flip it for big money later, "Like buying a stock after the market crashes," Casselman says.
In either case, buyers are obviously betting big that the developer or the city will employ a fix that saves the building from catastrophic harm. Although some tower residents now claim their homes aren’t worth a dollar, at least one of their new neighbors evidently disagrees—2.3 million times.
Thanks to our anonymous tipster for pointing out the receipt.
- 301 Mission, #18F sale record [City Assessor]
- Millennium Tower Sinking [Curbed SF]
- 301 Mission, #18F previous sale [Vertigo Living]
- 301 Mission, #18F 2012 listing [Trulia]
- Tower Homeowners Say Condos Worthless [Curbed SF]