Condos Coming to Capitol Hill and New Jersey Avenue

A number of new residential developments are bringing condos and more to parking lots and under utilized spaces in the District.

Some construction projects to keep an eye out for in the coming months include condos coming to 11th and I streets in Southeast Capitol Hill and residential units coming to New Jersey Avenue in Northwest.

Aeron Investments has plans to build new, four-story, 48-unit condo building at the corner of 11th and I streets, SE in Capitol Hill. The space is currently being used as a parking lot and a car service station. The project plan has received support for its initial design concept from the Historic Preservation Office staff. Read more about it from District Source.

Align Development is planning a seven-unit residential building at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue, New Jersey Avenue and S Street. 1740 New Jersey Ave. NW is currently a residential property. The new building may not have any parking, but the elimination of a curb cut-out may add two street parking spaces, District Source reports.

A parking lot and taxi garage on Rhode Island Avenue will become a retail and residential development by the end of 2015. CAS Riegler will turn 1101 Rhode Island Avenue into a four-story, 38-unit condo building with retail on the ground floor, Curbed reports.

First-Time Homebuyers Rule D.C. Housing Market

Of the homebuyers in the D.C. area using conventional or government-backed loans, more than two-thirds are first-time buyers, according to data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Maryland also ranks high on the list.

According to the report, the places with the highest proportion of first-time homebuyers “are generally associated with high-cost metropolitan areas where job growth and worker mobility are likely to be higher,” UrbanTurf reported.

An increasing number of single people are buying homes, too, in D.C. and elsewhere. Almost one-third of all real estate purchases in 2013 were made by single homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. Other research has shows single women are more likely to purchase a home than single men, with single women making up about 20 percent of homebuyers nationwide in recent years.

The most important factors for single homebuyers (male or female): square footage, the yard and proximity to work or school.

School’s In: Condos, Art Centers Proposed for Former D.C. School Buildings

In honor of school starting for students in our area, we thought we would update you on redevelopment projects in progress now here in D.C. in areas where schools used to operate.

Four Developers have Gylos School Proposals

There are now four developers vying for a project to redevelop The Gylos School, a former elementary school in D.C. The developers are Community Three Development, MCN Build, Inc., Art Space Projects, Inc., and Roadside Development, according to District Source.

The possibilities for the space include a mix of residential, retail, business, art space, non-profit space and a business incubator. All, some or none of those may be included in the final project, which must be a 10,000 foot shell within the current historic building.

The Gylos School building, at 1923 Vermont Ave. NW, is in the U Street historic district. An adjacent property owned by the District of Columbia government, at 912 U St. NW, is part of the request for proposals. For the latest on the Gylos School site, see the District Source archives here.

The Brendan School Becomes Art Center

Eastbanc, Inc. will bring the Institute for Contemporary Expression (ICE-DC) to the former Brendan School building. The site will include a cultural center, bookstore, cafe and a restaurant. The Brendan School is located at 925 13th St. NW. It was built in 1869. See renderings for the redevelopment here.

Trapeze School Site to Welcome Condos

A different type of school – a trapeze school – is also set for redevelopment. About 130 condos are coming to the site of the Trapeze School of New York in The Yards in Southeast. The school is relocating to the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency space at First and M Streets SE. GK Benjamin is the developer. Learn more about it here from District Source.

Welcome back to school!

Reishman Report: DC Median Sold Prices Up, Inventory Stable

The Washington region’s housing market performed well in October, according to the latest data.

In the District, the median sold price in October hit $500,000 – that’s a jump of 9.9 percent over last October and the highest median home price in an October in the District ever, and it’s just $30,000 less than the high in July 2014.

DC real estate October 2014 inventory Average days on market, at 35 days, is still lengthy but is a 2.8 percent drop from last October and the fewest days on market for sold properties in an October in the past several years. This means homes are moving relatively quickly and for a good price.

One of the main factors we look at is housing inventory. That’s something we’ve been tracking very closely over the past several months. Housing inventory tells us a lot about how consumers are feeling about the market. While some people move because they have to (a job change, for example), a lot of people move when they believe the time is right – and it looks like more people think the time may be right.

Although new listings were down in October in the District of Columbia, inventory in October was virtually unchanged from September (from 1,469 active listings in September to 1,459 active listings in October).

Housing inventory had been declining from June through August before bouncing back up in September. Still, October’s housing inventory was 7.6 percent higher than the October before, and the highest it has been since October 2010.

For buyers, some advice: Make sure your financing is in order before you go home shopping, and be prepared to make a solid offer on the property you want when you see it.

The Reishman Report: A Look at August Real Estate Inventory

August is traditionally a slower real estate month than July in the District – and that held true this year, according to the latest data from RBI.

August real estate inventory was down from July by about 9 percent but that’s nothing out of the ordinary for the months of July and August in recent years.

We’ve seen similar decreases in real estate inventory from July to August in each of the past five years – it’s a seasonal occurrence that hits particularly hard in the nation’s capital.

What’s more important when looking at August numbers is a slightly longer view: How did this August compare to last year?

Compared to the month of August in years past, this August had a higher median sold price and more inventory than the same month in past years. Inventory this August was 6.9 percent higher than August 2013. The median sold price for residential properties in the District in August this year was $475,000. That has increased every August for the past several years and is an increase of more than $75,000 since 2011.

That data may be showing some softening in the market. As prices have increased, more people are deciding to sell, which is pushing more inventory to the market. Simultaneously, transactions may start to wane as buyers start to see properties as relatively expensive from those price increases.

This August, residential properties stayed on the market an average of 15 days. This is an increase of 4 days from July and an increase of 3 days over August of last year. Attached townhomes are moving fastest at an average of 12 days on the market, according to the most recent data available.

Despite a slowdown overall from July to August of this year (and every year), taking a longer-view reveals sellers are seeing an opportunity to profit. We’ll have to watch closely to see how buyers react to the continued increase in prices and continuing long-term increase in inventory.

For buyers, little has changed at this point: They need to be well-prepared to move quickly with an attractive offer to get the property they want.

Anecdotally, we saw an increase in listings from our office right after Labor Day – whether that forecasts an overall increase in activity here in the District remains to be seen.

Reishman Report: D.C. Real Estate Inventory Increases

September saw a jump in real estate inventory after a typically slow August, the latest data from RBI shows. August is normally a slow month in Washington, D.C. for a variety of reasons, as is the increase in activity every September.

The September active listings were 1,469 across the District. Compared to September in years past, this September had more inventory on the market than in 2013 (8.9 percent more), bringing the market very close to September 2012 levels. But there is significantly less inventory than there was in September of 2011 or 2010, when inventory was well north of 2,200 homes.

The median list price for homes in Washington was $499,000 in September. That’s down from this summer, when median list prices for homes in the District were above $530,000, and down 3.9 percent from 2013. The median sold price in the District in September was $465,000 – that’s a 1.1 percent increase from this time last year, and sellers are getting (a median of) 99.9 percent of their property’s list price right now.

Homes are selling just a bit faster than they were at this time last year, with the average time-on-market at 14 days – that’s two days faster than this time last year, and much faster than in past Septembers.

What does it all mean? Prices have increased when you look over the past several years in the District – in fact, a study of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this month revealed the Washington, D.C. metro area is more expensive to live in than New York and San Francisco (when you factor in housing and related expenses such as utilities).

However, we are seeing some softening in the market locally at this time. The median list and sold prices are down compared to this summer, and days on market are up compared to this summer. We’ll have to see how buyers react this winter and, importantly, in the spring.

For now, the advice remains the same: Buyers still need to be well-prepared to move quickly on a property they like. That means getting pre-qualified for a mortgage if one is necessary and coming to the table with an attractive offer. (See this blog post from agent Timothy W. Detweiler for more on that.) Despite the listing-to-sold price ratios remaining strong for now, sellers need to price their homes competitively if they want them to sell quickly.