Housing Complex

And You Think Our Condo Glut’s Bad…

Much has been said about D.C.'s condo glut. But, the truth is, housing forecasters aren't telling the same story they were a year ago. As I wrote in mid October, Delta Associates third quarter condo report noted 174 sales in the District, the highest quarterly total in over a year, and two thirds of all sales this quarter in the metro area. A mid-month article in the Washington Business Journal also quotes Delta's condo researcher William Rich projecting a huge growth in condo sales in the coming year.

"With mortgage interest rates remiaing low and job growth rates remaining on course, we expect a net sales pace of 3,000 to 3,500 per annum over the next two years," he says. Last year, sales totaled 1,458. Rich projects this year's will be about 1,600. But he stands by the 3,000 projection for next year, even if there is a recession. Rich says that more than 3,000 contracts have been signed in the last year, and the net sales figure reflects high cancellation rates for buyers who signed before projects delivered."

So, good news for condo sellers here. Now, check out stats reported by New York magazine, which did a neat little roundup of new condo buildings, how long units have been for sale, and how many condos are sold or under contract. Here's a peek: One Madison Avenue 40-unit building has been on the market for 30 months, with 15 listings still available, and ten units being rented out. Another upper Manhattan building is described as having "Nineteen [units] in contract, eight presently on the market, price cuts galore."

For a city with supposedly untouchable real estate stability, this is surprising.

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