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WASHINGTON, DC-Condo sales in the area are on the rise after a two year trough, according to a new study by Delta Associates and McWilliamsBallard. New-unit sales volume, defined as net binding contracts written with security deposits, registered 686 units in Q3 in the area — the highest quarterly sales volume in two years. Also, in the past 12 months, there were 2,120 sales, an increase of 45% from the prior 12-month period.

Prices, however are down – albeit showing signs of moderation. Effective new condo sales prices were down in the Washington metro area by 6% from 12 months ago, according to the report, with the District down just 3%. Concessions, at the same time, are also declining in most submarkets, with the exception of Fairfax/Falls Church and the District. Area-wide concessions are averaging 3.5% of the purchase price — down 70 basis points from one year ago.

Still, though, it will take the area time to work through an overload of unsold inventory, the report also found: there are currently 7,128 unsold new units being actively marketed in the area – and 3.4 years worth of product at current rates of sales velocity in the metro area. The exceptions are Arlington/Alexandria and the District, both of which are below the metro average and approaching levels considered “product shortage”.

Separately, there are anecdotal signs that condos as an asset type are coming back to life. The “K” building at Lowe Enterprises’ mixed-use CityVista development is posting a high number of sales, it reports. The building is part of Phase 2 of the CityVista complex which includes a second facility featuring 244 rental units. Meanwhile, the “L” condo building, which was completed in Phase I of the development, has sold its entire inventory of 149 units. Located at Fifth and K Streets NW, CityVista has been developed by Lowe Enterprises, CIM Group, Neighborhood Development Company, Bundy Development Corporation, and the District of Columbia Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development.

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