Developer Owned Condos in the Icon Fly off the Shelf

Terrazzo and Icon Condos in the GulchYou read the headline correctly, the condos in the Icon are selling both faster and for higher prices than at any time since 2008. In the first 18 days of March, the Bristol Group has sold 12 condos with a total transactional value exceeding $5 million. Think about that for a moment, let it sink in. Phrases like “condos fly off the shelf” and “condos sell at record pace” are not meant to roll off the tongue anymore, right? Wrong. If you have not been reading my reports or have been listening to the general media conjecture, you may think that all condos are doomed to devalue in perpetuity. The Icon in the Gulch is not only not doomed, it will also not have any unsold developer inventory before you have time to say, “Sally sells seashells by the seashore” 5 times.

In just the last 2 years, my shows the developer selling 168 condos in the Icon. True, the prices are not has high as what the condos originally presold for in 2006, but you may be surprised to learn that the downtown facing condos in the tower section of the building have sold for an average of $337.52/ft during this time. Even I was not so bold as to predict that level of success. Isn’t the downtown market supposed to be outrageously overbuilt and flooded with inventory? Poppycock (thank you Mr. Lanier of 9th grade Algebra for introducing me to this wonderful word. See Mom and Dad, your exorbitant tuition at MBA really did pay off in the end). The good buildings are selling and are selling well.

The Downtown Nashville Condo Goes Boom, Not Bust

Rewinding the clock 3 years to 2008, it certainly appeared to all that the condo market in Nashville was overbuilt. The Icon (419 condos), Terrazzo (117 condos) , Encore (333 condos), 5th & Main (129 condos), the  (72 condos), Velocity (265 condos) and Rhythm at Music Row (105 condos) had just been delivered. It was the beginning of the Great Recession and speculative pre-construction buyers ran for higher ground. Mortgages were becoming difficult to obtain and interest rates seemed high all of a sudden. Admittedly, it was an interesting time that seemed more dire than possible. Up was down and down was up. What very few realize in such times is that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, there is always an out. Fast forward to the present and the picture is very different.

The truth of the matter is that despite a recessionary economy, despite a historically weak national real estate market, Nashville has not depressed nearly as far as what was believed. On the flip side of the coin, we also did not skyrocket as high during the 2004-2007 bubble. Of the 1,400 new condos that were delivered in 2008, we only have 388 left to sell. Our market absorbed over 1,000 new condos during what was arguably the most difficult period in time to sell real estate in recent memory. Granted, the 220 condos in the Velocity were purchased by an Atlanta firm and converted to apartments, but that is still inventory absorption. If you prefer to subtract the 220 Velocity condos from the number of condos absorbed, the downtown market sold 781 developer owned condos. This would in turn calculate and predict the absorption of the remaining 388 unsold developer owned condos within the next 24 months. Based on this rate, the downtown Nashville market will need new condos in less than 2 years.

Grant Hammond is Your Best Bet

Again, is Grant Hammond writing these headlines in order to sell me a condo? Is he using the normal real estate broker huff and puff to make more money? Let’s state fact, I am a real estate broker who specializes in the downtown Nashville condo market. I certainly understand that from the outside looking in, my analysis could appear self-serving; however, it simply isn’t. I openly analyze and publish said analyses freely on my website for all to see, scrutinize, criticize and use without barrier. I have been doing so since 2005. I have never password protected or made anyone contact me in order to view this information. In fact, many have used this information, other real estate agents included, in order to purchase a condo. I point all of this out to state this: my analysis is factual, accurate and you are free to use another real estate agent if you wish. I simply think you’d be better off using the expert’s expert. I possess the ability to optimize your purchase in any of these buildings and to squeeze every single penny out of these developers. After all, even some developers call me for advice. I can also keep you from making a mistake when it comes to resale value.

Another myth I’d like to debunk is many people believe that if they do not use a real estate agent to help them buy a condo from a developer, they will get a better deal. It does seem reasonable that if the seller does not have to pay a commission to a buyer’s agent, there should be more room to discount the condo price; however, this is untrue. The seller has already agreed (in their listing agreement) to pay a commission whether or not a buyer’s agent is present, the selling agent’s company simply keeps the entire commission. The buyer does not gain an edge. Additionally, in this case, you have no representation. The person sitting across the table from you works for the seller only. They owe you no fiduciary responsibly nor do they have to look out for your best interests. You have no one advocating for you in the transaction and that is where you lose your advantage. You have everything to gain by having a buyer’s agent and nothing to lose.

Should you be in the market to buy or sell a condo in Nashville, I look forward to the opportunity to work with you. I am confident I will bring value, clarity, expertise and savings to the table.

You can always reach me at 615-945-7123 or

  • Ty Keith

    Grant knows more about the Nashville market than any other realtor I have come in contact with. I recently purchased in the Icon right before the prices went up and started flying off the shelf, according to this article, and could not be happier. I continue to keep up with the website here because of the knowledge and expertise that Grant has in this market and economic time. Not that I had any doubt with Grant, but his insight and updates (like this one) continually reassures me of my purchase and how Grant guided me to it. Grant Hammond is a real estate genius!!!

  • Adam

    Ty- completely agree. I ran across his site when researching the downtown condo market and ultimately ended up getting a great deal in Terrazzo. I’m definitely not in the market for another place right now, but am hooked on his site (read this post during breakfast) because it’s been extremely helpful for keeping up with the local condo market. Big fan.

  • Ilex Pounders

    After working with several other agents in Nashville and being less than impressed, Grant stepped in and helped me get one of the best prices to date in my new Nashville downtown condo. He had a incomparable knowledge base of the downtown market. I have recommended him to many of my coworkers and friends.

  • Trever Tummins

    After looking at the ICON and reading Grant Hammond’s blog, I decided to give him a call and I haven’t regretted that decision even for a moment. Grant got me the lowest price per square foot that anyone has ever gotten at the ICON. I have recommended Grant to several of my friends that are about to be new to the area. Grant knows more about the Nashville market than any other realtor I have talked to. It seemed like my situation was impossible, but through Grant and his knowledge in the market, we made it work. Keep up the great work Grant, and I will continue to be in touch when people come to me for condo purchases.

  • Grant Hammond

    Wow – I am starting to not feel worthy. I need to hit the Registrar’s office and do some additional parcel research.

  • Dave

    I would not want to work with anyone other than Grant. He is the “expert’s expert” when it comes to condos downtown. He will fight for the buyer’s best interest. I highly recommend that anyone in the market for a condo in downtown Nashville speak with Grant before doing anything.

  • Kenny

    A phrase I heard more often from that same Mr. Lanier was “Negative”!

  • Grant Hammond

    Absolutely (hopefully he was talking to your classmates and not you). That word brings back fond memories of graphing parabolas.

  • Chill Mulaisho

    I was looking for a condo to purchase in a trendy part of Nashville last year. I did not know where to start, and I knew nothing about the market in Nashville and little about real estate in general. After making some preliminary inquiries at the Gulch, I liked the ICON. I was very lucky to end up with Grant Hammond as my Agent and Adviser. Grant knows the real estate market in Nasville like the back of his hand, really well. He is also a very astute investor himself. He taught me a lot about the market in Nashville. As my Agent I saw how meticulous he was when he was carrying out inspections of the Units, prior to purchase. I felt he was working for me, even though I met several Agents and was at a loss to figure out who was working for who. There was no doubt that Grant was on my side all along the way. I have continued to stay in touch with him even after I purchased my Unit at the ICON in the GULCH.

    Chill Mulaisho