The State of the Market

Here’s an interesting article on the market in Frank Lloyd Wright homes , from a real estate industry site. Much of the article is built around an interview with Janet Halstead, executive director of the The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, so it’s better than the typical Sunday Style section on selling a Wright.

If you want the executive summary of the Wright real estate market, it seems to be this: it ain’t great, but it ain’t a freaky nightmare, either (not bad, considering that the general real estate market resembles a fog-caused 101-car pile-up on I-80).

The recession probably has slightly depressed prices for Wright homes, Halstead said.

“I think, to the same extent that (the economy) has affected the general market, the ones that are selling probably are selling at a little bit lower prices than they would have four or five years ago,” she said.

Still, conservancy board member Leo Koonmen wrote in the organization’s fall magazine that sales of Wright homes seem to be experiencing difficulties that are directly related to the state of the national economy.

“We have noticed some interesting, but related recent trends,” he wrote. “(1) Issues concerning the valuation of Wright-designed houses are beginning to arise more often; (2) Wright-designed properties tend to remain on the market for longer periods of time; and (3) the appetites of prospective buyers to take on large-scale restorations are diminishing.”

But Halstead said she believes that such issues are less Wright-related than they are an indication of the sluggishness of the upper-end housing market, overall.

Indeed, although one property on the site is listed for $129,000, the vast majority of the houses on the Wright on the Market page are upper-bracket, priced from $800,000 to $7.5 million.