As many of you have read in the past, most of the statistics available show the DC Metro area as one of the growth leaders for the upcoming year. From home values increasing 4% between July ’06 to July ’07, condo market maintaining sales and over 50,000 jobs coming to the region over the next 14 months, there is no cause for the local market to shutter the way much of the rest of the country has done over the past 12 months. On top of that, I am expecting the Fed to reduce interest rates another .25% today, thereby enticing purchasers to jump on the bandwagon. What I will say is I have noticed a slowdown in the market, back to what I hear it was like before the real estate boom, homes sitting for longer, and investors pulling out unless margins significantly in their favor.
With that in mind, these next 3 months may be the best time to purchase. I am expecting a strong spring market, at least stronger than what we have right now and declining inventory on the market. If we look at the following chart I created this morning, based solely from the stats available on MLS, we can see that historically October and January have the lowest number of sales.
(CLICK THE IMAGE FOR CLEARER RESOLUTION)
Taking the month of settlement into account and, generally speaking, the settlement day occurring 45 days after ratification, or contract acceptance by both parties, it would be logical to assume that buyers will have the most leverage in September and December and the least in February. Compare this to the rule of thumb when negotiating on a car….always negotiate the last 5 days of the month…it may be the perfect time to buy.
This past week a great friend of mine & I decided its about time someone committed to reopening that HUGE retail space right underneath Dupont Circle. For those of you who have no idea what I’m referring to, there is 28,000 sq ft of retail space right underneath the Dupont Circle streets, extending from the building foundations at the outer edge of the circle to the fountain in the middle, of which two halves are split by the Connecticut Ave underpass. Next time you are in the area take a look at the 7-8 stair cases boarded up by green boards that somewhat resemble metro entrances, located at nearly every corner of intersecting streets at the circle. As a point of reference, there is one located right next to CVS.
…back to the opening of Down Under…
About 11 years ago two city inspectors shut down the retail space due to health violations and several illegal practices taking place by the vendors in the space and it has been shut ever since. Those inspectors were the head of zoning, Vincent Ford, and former code inspector Jim Delgado. As an advocate for the development and improvements for the city, I have decided to commit to the reopening of the space under Dupont myself…which got me thinking…who better to enlist to help reopen the area than the two gentlemen that shut the area down. Nobody knows the violations of Dupont better then Delgado and Ford. Its simply impossible. I called Delgado this past week and he’s in! I’m not sure how far we will get but what I can say is that if anyone is going to reopen Down Under, its going to be us.
For more info on the space, read a previous blog of mine HERE.
What we do not know is what would be the best use of space. Have ideas? Post your comments below.
As EVERYONE has been reading, there has been more than enough reporting on the trouble with the mortgage industry and as of reports released today by CNN, is also affecting the prime mortgage borrowers, not just the sub-prime or Alt-A borrowers. Well we all know that trouble is on the horizon and few can deny that but how has DC been faring through the troubled times, especially in the condo market?
It might just be me but that graph looks pretty stable.
BTW, click the picture to enlarge
As many of you may have been reading throughout the media world, most of the country is up in a panic regarding the mortgage industry and real estate price fallout. In most places across the country, with the exception of what I would consider the larger 12 cities, this panic may have justification, just not here.
This afternoon the Washington Business Journal released a report stating that home prices in DC are up 4% last month vs July of ’06. Crazy you say? Not really consider the upcoming development that we all are looking forward to in addition to the political turnover we are about to undergo. According to the WBJ, DC’s average sale price in July ’07 was $431,000, up $16,000 over last July’s average sale price at $415,000.
I’d like to stop there an and analyze exactly whats going on in this city. I believe we all could reasonably say that this past year was one of the worst years in real estate in the past seven years, right? Well, despite the media hype (having nothing better to write about), the mortgage subprime fallout, the price of gasoline increasing nearly 35 cents a gallon and our country spending $80 billion on the war, DC still had gains of 4% in 12 months. Hows that for financial security?
With all that going on why wouldn’t you purchase, especially with the upcoming anticipation of a strong spring market of ’08 and continued growth and investment by the government in local development.
The article can be viewed here.
As if there wasn’t enough development in Adams Morgan already, Douglas Jemal is developing a site in Adams Morgan to be the new Harris Teeter Grocery Store. But thisa is not any grocery store but the only grocery store for blocks. In fact the new Harris Teeter is the only grocery store for 6 blocks. Not that far you say? Maybe its just me but I dont really want to carry groceries much further than that, especially in one of the areas of the highest rate of population increases in the city. This coming year there are in the range of 6-12 new developments in the area, 2 of which I’m representing in the upcoming year.
Their new site, at the intersection of 17th St NW and Kalorama Rd NW should provide the perfect opportunity between the areas, whats more is the gap that Harris Teeter bridges between two traditional grocery stores and the environmental friendly store of tomorrow. The current proposed plan includes 39,000 sq ft of retail space on what used to be a roller rink. The next question you may ask is ‘Who is the brains behind the operation?’ Nobody less than the infamous Douglas Jemal a.k.a. Douglas Development, a company known for nothing less than their front running ideas contributing to the redevelopment of nearly the entire city.
In addition to the 39,000 sq ft of retail space is a proposed 120,000 sq ft of office space at the modest projected cost of $15,000,000. Despite a projected opening date of Fall ’06, the newly anticipated date is Feb, ’08. We’ll see how that goes.
My apologies to KP for getting this blog out so late in the day.
This morning Ben Casselman, from RealEstateJournal.com, a guide for real estate developed by the Wall Street Journal, announced that Sotheby’s International Realty will be expanding their vision by representing affordable housing. To put it a bit more succinctly, they’ll be selling double-wide trailers in California. As many of you may well know, Sotheby’s is traditionally known for their niche in the upper echelons of property pricing and estates including many at the waterfront. So why the change? If you read my post on my predictions on the strongest growth market segment here, which happens to be affordable housing, a term I use for homes under $300,000, you might understand why Sotheby’s is headed in that direction.
According to Casselman, nearly 6% of homes represented by Sotheby’s on their site happens to be under $250,000, and that proportion is growing. The cause for Sotheby’s expansion of ammo happens to come as a result of an increasingly competitive ultra-pricey market segment nationwide. Many new brokerages are opening their doors to the uber-weathly and in my opinion, Sotheby’s had to take a new market position to maintain competitiveness.
This afternoon when finishing examining a lot acquisition in Barry Farms with one of my clients, I happen be driving down Morris St SE as I looked to my left and to my amazement was a brand new, just framed, HUGE condo development named Grandview DC. Its not just the name either. I went around to the back of the block to look in and the view is incredible, it overlooks the entire city. I did some research on Google but couldn’t find a thing, and their website is down too. All their sign says is Luxury Townhomes in the low $300′s. When its up click here to see the development. For now I have no information but when its available Ill post here. Until then enjoy this video and some pics.
To those of you who are as dedicated to this blog as we all are about DC, I must apologize for being a bit more ‘offline’ than I would have liked to have been. Recently, I have been having meeting after meeting with developers across the city lining up to get insight, recommendations and designing a course of action in everyones plan for their releases in the upcoming spring market of 2008. Currently, KTRE is undertaking what I would consider significant steps towards our growing development team and a strong, and soon very happy, client base.
From a 14 unit building in Deanwood just 100 yards to the Deanwood metro which is about to be gutted and remodeled using what I consider luxury details in an affordable housing market, to a 42 unit complex in Randle Heights, a 20 unit in Barry Farms. Next year is sure to be a killer. An exciting one at that! Whats more exciting are some of the other possible developments we are working with, from a $7,000,000 lot in Sandy Spring, to the possible acquisition of a hotel site downtown, to another project with Gotham Development and their lineup of groundbreaking ideas involving some of the most influential faces in the city. What a year!
Basically what I’m trying to say is I’ll do my best to stay on top of providing the best information to everyone across the city, but its crunch time. In the meantime, please email me if you have any questions about development across the city. I would love to help answer.
This afternoon my clients sold their property at 1200 Delafield Pl NW. Why is this important? Because at this address lives the oldest African American Owned school of dance anywhere in the U.S. Some of the greatest dancers anywhere in the world have come out of this school and it has been opened since my clients mother owned the property in 1941. (Thats 66 years for those of you non-mathematicians). So why is the sale of the property important? Because two families, the Byrd’s and the Green’s purchased the property to help the legacy continue on for generations to come.
The school has such a strong history that it is on the African American Heritage Tour of Washington, DC and will continue to be throughout my life and many many more. To read more about the significance of this unique establishment click HERE.
For contact info click HERE.
Trouble you may ask? Actually no. Tomas Guirola put in his 30 days of KTRE to open our newest development division of KTRE as the leading developer sales and marketing firm of the area. Whats spectacular in our ability is our complementary traits in the business. He is dedicated, focused and has incredible writing skills and sales skills and I have been brokering, establishing and closing development contracts since my first day in the business. All I have to say is WATCH OUT!