PORTLAND, Ore. The condo market in Portland is overbuilt and now under pressure again to thin the inventory.

The Waterside condos, built in 2007 on Hayden Island, have seen only a slow ripple of buyers. Thirty units are now up for auction to the highest bidder. Link:WatersideAuction

The builder wants to give the feeling of the Palace of Versailles, and that's what the grounds are fashioned after, said Debi Roks, project manager for the auction with Kennedy Wilson.

Thirty of the 84 luxury condos will be up for auction on October 24. The minimum bidding starts afrom $165,000 to $300,000. In some cases, it's more than 50 percent off the original asking price. Most units overlook the Columbia River and the city of Vancouver.

With excess inventories, developers, builders and banks are trying everything to recoup their investments. In 2009, The Atwater in South Waterfront tried an auction. It worked. Then this past March, The John Ross did it's own auction. It was a chance to thin the inventories.

At the Waterside, the units are mostly two bedroom, with more than two thousand square feet, all with balconies. Each unit has two parking spots, plus access to the on-site workout area.

One unit has a panoramic river and mountain view.

The appraised value at the end of 2009 was $840,000 and the bidding for this one is going to start at $300.000, said Roks.

Bidders must be pre-qualified. The first 15 units will be sold to the highest bidder. The second 15 have an unpublished reserve. The seller has set a dollar amount they hope to reach.

And if it falls short, the high bid, they have five days to accept it, reject it or counter, said Roks.

According to Gerry Mildner, Director of Portland State Universities Center for Real Estate, while an auction can bring home values down initially for all units, in the long term it has have a positive effect.

If you're trying to sell a waterfront property on Hayden Island in the next six months, these sales will be critical for helping determine what's an appropriate price for your condo, he said.

And like all auctions, it's where price meets your pocket book.

We'd rather sell a home for less, but sell them more quickly, said Roks.

The Waterside on North Hyden Island drive is open daily for tours. The auction is October 24 and will be held at the downtown Marriott Hotel.

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