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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bainbridge Building Bonanza

Yup, that headline is already old, after just two uses. But it is still descriptive of what's going on over on Bainbridge Island, where the condo building craze is being described as a "gold rush."

Some call it coincidence; others say it's by design. At least six condominium projects simultaneously under construction in Winslow will add some 350 units here by the end of the year.

They'll constitute about a 50 percent increase more than the 775 units here now, according to estimates from the Kitsap County Assessor's Office and the city of Bainbridge Planning Department.
Because Bainbridge Island is overflowing with jobs, causing a strong demand for additional housing... wait.
Jim Kennedy, lawyer and associate broker with Deschamps Realty & Associates, isn't among those celebrating the surge in condominium building. He doubts high demand will continue or that condo prices will increase as fast as other investments.

"The demand for condos in Winslow will be reduced over the next several years," he said. Many people who move to Bainbridge don't want to live in high-density units, he said. They want single-family homes and a piece of the island's much-envied rural lifestyle.
Sounds like this guy actually has his head screwed on straight. But if there's money to be made, condos will be built, regardless of the future sustainability of the condo forest. Not that it's necessarily wrong for the builders to take advantage of an opportunity to make money, but I think the real suckers (and facilitators) here are the people who buy them. In a lot of ways I see parallels to a pyramid scheme.

(Rachel Pritchett, Kitsap Sun, 01.15.2006) Registration required, or use this trick.

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