The successful auction of 45 condominiums at the Vetro project in the South Loop raked in sales of more than $12.1 million – though sharply discounted at $258 PSF.  That’s 73 percent of the original $353 PSF asking price, but far better than the 61 percent the auctioneers expected.

This isn’t the first time that distressed condos have been auctioned lately.  In December, 20 units at Jazz on the Boulevard in North Kenwood were auctioned with deep discounts.  And in January, 34 condominiums in the McKinley Park Lofts development were auctioned, again at bargain prices.

This is extremely hopeful news, because the simple act of auctioning off the condos stabilizes the assets and proves that troubled projects can save themselves.  These auctions also signal signs of elasticity in the residential market.

Similarly, office buyers should be ready to purchase quickly, since cherry-picking Class A assets may have an extremely brief window of opportunity.  The $300 billion in opportunity funds means there is plenty of competition for good deals.