Sunday, May 21, 2006

More Pictures



The Fillmore


Condos under construction (blue building)

Condo Constuction near 14 & U Street NW in DC

The Beauty and the Beast
[the beast has lots of potential]

44 comments:

  1. Key Economic Data Released in April 2006 Source: Citigroup Evening Summary Reports
    • Non-farm payrolls (4/6/06) - continued to grow very solidly in March, with 211,000 new jobs added. While the report was above the consensus forecasted, downward revisions to January and February were 34,000. The unemployment rate continued to tick down, back to the cycle low of 4.7%, as the separately measured household employment reading was very strong.
    • The U.S. Trade Deficit (4/12/06) - was better than expected in the month of February, narrowing to $65.7B from $68.6B in January.
    • Producer Price Index (4/19/06) - rose by 0.5% in March reflecting stronger gasoline (+9.1%) and food (+0.5%) quotes.
    • Housing Starts (4/20/06) - fell by a greater-than-expected 7.8% to 1.98M in March following a decline to an upwardly revised 2.13M in February. The consensus expectations were for a more modest easing to 2.03M.
    • Real GDP (4/28/06) - rose 4.8% in the first quarter of 2006, after the fourth quarter’s paltry 1.7% annualized rise. Normal GDP surged at an 8.2% annualized rate, as the GDP price index rose to an above-consensus 3.3%. The rise in inflation, however, continued to be mostly contained in energy quotes. The personal consumption expenditures deflator rose 2.0% ex-food and energy in the quarter.
    • U.S. Consumer Confidence (3/31/06) - rose more than expected in March, as measure by the University of Michigan survey. The university's sentiment index rose to 88.9 from 86.7 in February, spurred by higher wages and increased job creation.


    Source: Citigroup Evening Summary Reports
    By Robert DiClemente,
    Citigroup Economic and Market Analysis

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  2. At Home in the Nation's Capital: Immigrant Trends in Metropolitan Washington

    by Audrey Singer
    June 2003

    Findings

    An analysis of the growth and location of the foreign born in the Washington metropolitan area between 1980 and 2000 finds that:

    * The Washington metropolitan area attracted 575,000 immigrants between 1980 and 2000 and has become a major destination for immigrants to the United States. By 2000, 832,016 immigrants made up some 17 percent of the region's population, making the area the seventh-largest immigrant gateway in the United States.

    * During the 1990s, the largest numerical gain of immigrants occurred in the inner suburban counties, while the largest proportional increase was in the outer counties. Montgomery, Fairfax, and Prince George's counties together gained nearly 250,000 immigrants, for an increase of 72 percent. Immigrants in the outer counties, including Loudoun and Prince William, grew by 160 percent with a gain of nearly 50,000 foreign-born residents.

    * New immigrants made up nearly half of the overall population growth in the Washington metropolitan region in the past decade. Remarkably, some 47.5 percent of Washington's foreign born arrived in the decade. This influx has accounted for a majority of inner suburban population growth and offset some of the District of Columbia's population losses.

    * Three-quarters of all immigrants in greater Washington come from a diverse group of 30 origin countries. El Salvador tops the list of origin countries with more than 100,000 residents counted in 2000, or 12.6 percent of the foreign-born population. Overall, 39 percent of the region's immigrants come from Latin America and the Caribbean, 36 percent are from Asia, 12 percent from Europe, 11 percent from Africa, and 2 percent from other countries.

    * The majority of the region's immigrants report a good command of the English language, with one in six speaking only English and 62 percent speaking English well or very well. This high rate of English proficiency exceeds that in all of the other large immigrant metro areas. At the same time, more than one-quarter of the foreign born in the more densely populated immigrant areas of Arlington, Alexandria, and the District say they cannot speak English well, or at all.

    * The region's immigrants primarily live in moderate and high income neighborhoods, not the poorest. Not all indicators are positive, however, as 10.6 percent of immigrants live in poverty.

    Immigration has indelibly altered the Washington region. Its heterogeneous nature—in terms of national origin, settlement patterns, language ability, and economic status—poses unique challenges, particularly in areas of immigrant concentration. How these challenges are met, especially in light of a languishing economy and the immigration impacts of September 11, will influence whether the region remains a home and employment center for immigrants.

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  3. Terrazza: www.urbanlandcompany.com/terrazza/terr.html

    Priced from $579,900: www.dcgentrification.com/sites/Terrazza/
    Price dropped to $529,900: www.dcgentrification.com/sites/Terrazza/TerrazzaAnnouncement.htm

    I wouldn't be worried about additional price declines though since the website says
    "Places where you can build equity with confidence. Prices and financing that make it so easy to give up renting"

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  4. Suggest reading reports from the Brookings Institute:

    "The Washington, DC metro area grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s, and its suburbs grew even faster"

    "Washington, DC lost significant African American population during the 1990s, while its suburbs gained
    large numbers of African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians"

    "Hispanics in the region live primarily in Silver Spring/Langley Park, MD,
    Adams Morgan/Mount Pleasant, DC, and Arlington/Fairfax,VA"

    "Like other Living Cities in the Southeast, the vast majority of immigrant growth in the Washington
    metro area occurred in the suburbs"

    "People in their twenties make up Washington, DC’s largest age groups"

    "Seniors are a large share of the population in Far Northeast DC, southern Montgomery County,
    and some Fairfax County neighborhoods"

    "Washington, DC lost people in most age groups during the 1990s, but managed to gain children
    (aged 5 to 14) and older Baby Boomers (aged 45 to 54)"

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  5. ah, a beautiful old cathederal is a "beast". duly noted.

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  6. The Challenges of Plenty in Washington, D.C.

    The Washington Post, August 14, 2005

    Alice M. Rivlin, Senior Fellow and Director, Greater Washington Research Program, Metropolitan Policy Program

    Only 10 years ago, the District of Columbia was staring bankruptcy in the face. It was borrowing short-term just to pay routine bills, its operating fund was half a billion dollars in the hole, and its bond rating could only charitably be called "junk." Today, D.C. is flush. It has a $1.2 billion reserve fund, a surplus in the range of $300 million and that most politically hazardous of commodities—choices.

    Being awash in cash isn't a situation the District is accustomed to, but in the past decade a combination of good management and good luck turned the city's fiscal fortunes around. Part of the good management credit goes to the federally appointed "control board" under the leadership of Andrew Brimmer (whom I later succeeded); part belongs to the financial skills of Mayor Anthony Williams and Natwar Gandhi in the much-needed new position of independent chief financial officer; and part goes to the federal government for taking over some statelike functions (such as moving the District's convicted felons into federal prisons), albeit at the price of ending the annual federal payment. New city officials have also modernized many of the District's notoriously creaky administrative systems.

    The good luck is that the District is at the center of a thriving regional economy and is finally sharing in the area's exuberant prosperity. The revitalization of downtown and the revival of tourism since 9/11 have swelled retail sales. Federal growth related to defense and homeland security has boosted jobs and income. New demand for housing in the city has spurred home building and renovation. Residential property values have skyrocketed—and taken property tax revenues up with them—even in the less affluent parts of the city. The result is that the District, which had a surplus of $318 million in fiscal year 2004, will probably end fiscal year 2005 with a surplus in the same range, and move into the next year with expectations of more positive revenue surges.

    The downside of the city's positive transformation is the effect on the low- and moderate income population, which is facing rapidly rising housing costs unmatched by increases in income. The District, which is home to a disproportionate number of the region's poor, has concentrated pockets of poverty, especially east of the Anacostia River and in parts of Northeast, that have not shared in the new prosperity. For elderly and disabled residents, and those without the skills to move up a career ladder, the housing boom means rising rents and real estate taxes for low-quality housing.

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  7. thanks for all the info. :-)

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  8. Here is a theory that I want to put out for comment. Given that the largest age group in DC is people in their twenties and the the population growth in DC area seemed to really increase in the 98 99 time frame. Is it plausible that the housing bubble in part was driven by those folks (most likely well paid young professionals) coming into the home buying age. This combined with low lending rates and easy lending might explain the bubble. If so what does this mean going forward?


    NOVA Fence Sitter

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  9. A friend of mine just purchased a condo at Terraza. They said they will wait two years then flip it. They believe it is a great investment. NOT! Unfortunately I think they will get burned on this purchase.

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  10. According to Wikipedia, DC population has been dropping since 1950 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_DC

    This doesn't seem to be consistent with what you guys are saying. Does anyone have population statistics like Wikipedia does?

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  11. Ohhhh, wait two years then flip it? That is bad investment. I plan to wait for two years to buy my condo since I hope to buy it for almost half the current market price. Does your friend pay attention to the market at all?

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  12. US Treasury Yield Curve:
    4.75 Fed Funds
    4.76 4 Month
    4.91 6 Months
    4.86 2 Year
    4.87 3 Year
    4.91 5 Year
    5.05 10 Year
    5.16 30 Year

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  13. johnny-

    You are correct. The city of DC had a population of approx 800,000 at one point in the 50s. That fell to approx 500,000 a few years ago.

    The overall area (i.e., including suburbs), though, has a MUCH larger population.

    Still, I do always find it funny when I meet someone at a party, usually someone who moved to DC within the last five years, and they are bloviating about DC real estate, and their face looks shocked when I tell them how much population the city has lost after they tell me that DC real estate can never go down. All these big experts don't even know that often.

    I do not believe trends indicate what will happen in the future, so the downward trend in DC population over the last 50 years may have reversed, and could head back up. But what happened over the second half of the 20th century definitely shows that there is nothing inherently upward about DC population growth.

    A Redskins fan

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  14. Nice use of the word "bloviating". :-)
    You get invited to parties? ;-)

    I heard somewhere that good biz schools teach their students how to perform due diligence before committing capital to move into new markets. Makes sense. Don't want to spend $100+ millions only to find no one shops at your new store.

    Target is opening a major new retail store in DC. So is Safeway Supermarket. So is Harris Teeter Supermarket.

    I wonder whom they expect they will cater too, especially if they performed due diligence/market research, and found every indication that the city will be empty in 10 years?


    Work to Begin on Columbia Heights Complex
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Developers are planning to break ground today on a long-awaited retail complex in Columbia Heights that will be anchored by Target and become the largest shopping development in the city.

    The $149.5 million, five-acre site at 14th and Irving streets NW is being developed by Grid Properties and Gotham Organization, together with Joseph Searles and the Development Corp. of Columbia Heights. Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D), right, several D.C. Council members, and business and community leaders are expected to attend the groundbreaking ceremony. The project is expected to create 1,000 jobs and generate $12 million annually in taxes, according to a news release.

    [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/04/AR2006050401834.html]

    bryce

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  15. http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2004/08/02/story1.html

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  16. Population is down, but what about the number of households?

    As has been noted elsewhere on this site, a substantial portion of DC has beeen gentrified recently. Each time an extended family gets replaced with a single or couple, that is measured as a decline in the population.

    But DC is not turning into Detroit or Philadelphia with vast tracts of vacant housing - quite the opposite. DC has more housing units (occupied) than ever.

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  17. David, did you attend the Blogger's Confernce in DC? Now, why would they hold it in DC? The place is increasingly irrelevant on a daily basis. Sheese, they should have held it in Salisbury MD.

    + Approximately 400 Washington-area marketing, public relations and media professionals crowded into a standing-room only Mayflower Hotel ballroom Friday morning to try to discover what's beyond blogging.

    Organized by public relations firm Fleishman Hillard and electronic trade publication D.C. Communicator, the half-day conference featured a keynote presentation by Ed Keller, CEO of Keller Fay Group and author of "The Influentials." That was followed by two panels. The first addressed blogging's place in corporate communications, advertising and marketing, and the second focused on blogging's role in social marketing and advocacy.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2006/05/15/daily66.html?jst=b_ln_hl

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  18. "Population is down, but what about the number of households?"

    Excellent question, and your answer was right on target. Unfortunately the answer often proves to be too complex for many people to grasp. The last time this came up at this site, there was a shrill "sky is falling" attitude about the contraction in the city's population.

    The explanation for the simultaneous decrease in population and increase in number of occupied households was lost on some in the "sky is falling" crowd.

    If one looks just beyond the factual demographic data, it may be possible to identify a successful niche retail market opportunity.... However, rather than take advantage of opportunities let's all just yell about how horrible things are. It is much easier that way. Bah humbug.

    bryce

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  19. From the Friday, May 5, 2006, Washington Business Journal on page 18:


    DC Sets New $1 Billion Plan For Old Convention Center

    by Sean Madigan, Senior Staff Reporter


    Downtown DC's $1.1 billion shopping and entertainment complex is taking shape.

    After more than five years of planning, plodding and planning again, city officials and members of the Hines-led team of developers were expected to present on May 4, 2006, their master plan for the 10.2-acre redevelopment of the old convention center site.

    Their mixed-use concept lays out nine buildings, housing 300,000 to 400,000 square feet of office space, about 770 apartments and condominiums, at least 275,000 square feet of reteail and potentiallly a $180 million library.

    Planners at Sir Norman Foster's Foster and Partners envision reopening 10th and I Streets NW and creating a public plaza at the corner of New York Avenue and 11th Streets NW.

    They also want a separate plaza on the site's southeast portion -- about one-third of an acre -- lined with restaurants and functioning as a pavilion for concerts and events.

    Nearly the entire site is expected to include street-level retail.

    Earlier this year, developer Kingdon Gould III agreed to a land swap with DC, giving up his property near the new convention center and getting the northeast corner of the old convention center site. While Gould is obligated to put retail on the ground level, he has not determined the uses for the rest.

    City officials and the developers say they are on track to break ground by 2008, and the complex is expected to open in 2011.

    me again

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  20. $1Billion in development slated to come to long-neglected stretch of NE DC. This is in progress, not hypothetical. A must-read, especially since it talks about other projects underway with a similar scale. Now if only the folks spending the multiple billions of dollars would get the message that DC is a dead city....we could feel better about ourselves. Maybe David could send them email messages, referring them to his blog and telling them to snap out of it?

    http://abdo.com/press/01/article_washpost_nov05.html

    yeah, its me.

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  21. I do not think or ever implied DC was a dead city. These accusations are baseless.

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  22. Not talk'n 'bout chew :-)

    When 'skins fan attends cocktail parties (!), he points out to the other attendees that our Nation's Capital is on a long, slow path of decline. (See his post)

    Sounds like he needs to get together with big money (Target, Abdo, Lockheed Martin, Federal Government, MLB, etc.) and provide them with the same information. After all, with billions of dollars in the pipeline for development, you'd think they would appreciate being informed that there may be no people around in 10 years. Could save them some money, right?

    bryce

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  23. David likes to play games with words and semantics. While it is true he has not said that DC is a dead or dying city, his posts make clear that he hopes many of the recent arrivals in DC will take a massive financial hit in real estate, leave the city, and then the city will fall into ruin.

    At least be man enough to come out and say that's what your hopes are. Stop pussyfooting around with the semantics and just tell people that you hope they go bankrupt so that you can then stand up and pat yourself on your back for the lone voice of reason in the wilderness for so long.

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  24. fritz,

    "clear that he hopes many of the recent arrivals in DC will take a massive financial hit in real estate, leave the city, and then the city will fall into ruin."

    This is a ficticious accusation. I hope DC continues to better city. There are so many wonderful things about DC. I know I spend much time here.

    If you continue to falsely accuse me and / or put words in my mouth I will delete your posts. BE WARNED.

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  25. Bryce,

    I never said that DC WILL lost lots of people; just that history shows it has lost. Did you read the last paragraph of what I wrote?

    Also, your idea that somehow all these big businesses are making these bets on DC real estate... so what? First off, some are probably getting big tax incentives, which makes it an easier decision. But second, the internet stock bubble of 96-2000 shows that big money with big named financial and economic advisers can make big mistakes.

    Finally, just for the record, I never said I was *invited* to any parties, nor that they were *cocktail* parties. I merely said I am at parties. Again, some more attention to detail please.

    A Redskins fan

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  26. Skins,

    The points in your recent post are simple to counter.

    "just that history shows it has lost.." Think in terms of "households" and not in terms of raw numbers of people. Then you'd see the reality of the numbers you cite. Or did you really mean to say "Past results are no indication of future performance"? If so, why argue about it? And if so, why are you citing backward-looking data as some kind of scare tactic at "parties"?

    "so what? First off, some are probably getting big tax incentives" Ummm... exactly. So big biz entities make solid, savvy business decisions, and your point is that those decisions are too easy? Not very convincing.

    "second, the internet stock bubble of 96-2000 shows that big money with big named financial and economic advisers can make big mistakes." Target and Merril Lynch are in fundamentally different lines of business. One sells tactile goods to a broad demographic swath of people through brick and mortar structures set up on tracts of land. (aka "Real Estate") The other sells equities and consulting services to investors/speculators. Or did you mean to compare Cisco Systems to Target?

    Or did you mean to compare Enron with Safeway? Or MCI with Lockheed Martin? Anyway you slice it, it doesn't make sense.

    bryce

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  27. David, in all fairness, that pic you posted of Crispus Attucks seems deliberately framed to look nasty.

    Do you even know the history of the park? What was it before it became a park?

    Did you attend the community event there on Saturday? Did you meet any of the great people who have transformed that plot of land from a storage facility for Bell Atlantic into this:?

    http://www.crispusattuckspark.org/

    (see the above website for a more realistic view of what the place is like than what David posted)

    bryce

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  28. reposting a portion of 'Skin's post in case anyone missed it above. Please note the superior attitude ("I find it funny when...), the obligatory nod to the possibility that things change from time to time in this life ("I do not believe trends indicate what will happen in the future").

    Then be sure to observe his negative outlook about the future ("But what happened over the second half of the 20th century definitely shows that there is nothing inherently upward about DC population growth.") and then see the back-peddaling he performed in his post above.

    Mix all of this in with the facts I posted about population vs. # of households and the billions of dollars of commercial and federal money flowing into DC proper for long-term investment, and you end up with... another stupid argument on the internet ;-)


    "
    ...
    Still, I do always find it funny when I meet someone at a party, usually someone who moved to DC within the last five years, and they are bloviating about DC real estate, and their face looks shocked when I tell them how much population the city has lost after they tell me that DC real estate can never go down. All these big experts don't even know that often.

    I do not believe trends indicate what will happen in the future, so the downward trend in DC population over the last 50 years may have reversed, and could head back up. But what happened over the second half of the 20th century definitely shows that there is nothing inherently upward about DC population growth.

    A Redskins fan"

    bryce

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  29. David, I see you were in my neighborhood over the weekend. How come you didn't stop by for tea and scones?

    www.dcbubble.blogspot.com

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  30. "How come you didn't stop..."

    And risk being attacked by maurauding urbanites who eat the flesh of the suburban when they stray into "gritty" neighborhoods!? No thank you.

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  31. bryce-

    I didn't backpedal about anything. I stand by all my comments on here, none of which are contradictory.

    Yeah, things have changed from time to time in my life, but in the last ten years, it seems there has been one constant-- people who are very confident in the prices of the latest fads they have bought into, whether it be internet stocks or DC area real estate.

    A Redskins fan

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  32. "the latest fads they have bought into, whether it be internet stocks or DC area real estate."

    Or the NFL, or one of its franchisees in particular. What a waste of time and money (the fad called NFL). God knows that fad is unsustainable.... Who's gonna buy all that overpriced paraphanalia, or pay to see a team practice in Ashburn...? wait....nevermind.

    Regarding contradictory statements:
    "Also, your idea that somehow all these big businesses are making these bets on DC real estate... so what? "

    So you think big biz is frivolous (making "bets") with $150M,$400M, even $1B Capital expenditures in a market that is whithering away? If you aren't sure what "capital expenditure" means, look it up before you draw a parallel between capital expenditures and an over-inflated equities market. The difference is substantial. If a business can reasonably expect a return on its capital investment, it will make the investment. That is very different from Joe Football-Fan in Arlington (how many guys like that are there?) speculating over a six pack that he can flip an overpriced condo for a profit in two years.

    bryce

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  33. you guys really need to check your facts. most of these buildings you have up here have SOLD OUT, and many of them have sold and been resold.

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  34. in particular: terraza has already sold half of its units, fillmore is sold out except for two units, and recently sold a penthouse for over $900k, the "blue building" (cityview) has been sold out for some time, the visio is sold out, and that leaves only the beauregard.

    you post these pictures as if they prove something, other than the fact that there are condos being built in columbia heights. yes. there are. the question is whether prices will come tumbling down, or whether enough people want to move in columbia heights (given the expansion of businesses and transportation networks to that part of dc and the rising costs and time-demands of commuting in the dc area) that prices will stabilize after rising interest rates and supply push down the pressure that has existed over the past couple of years. if you want to be taken seriously, you should engage that question seriously, rather than with misleading and utterly meaningless picture galleries.

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  35. "you guys really need to check your facts. most of these buildings you have up here have SOLD OUT, and many of them have sold and been resold."

    I never claimed this. I post these pics to show all the condo development occuring in the DC metro area.

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  36. So lots of new construction going on in the center of DC. And many of these projects are sold out.

    Yep, clearly a bubble.

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  37. many flipper and specuvestors bought.

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  38. Lots of construction, I agree. Too bad that middle and lower income people can buy into DC real estate.

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  39. David, you say: "I post these pics to show all the condo development occuring in the DC metro area."

    I call BS. You post these to show that there is an OVER-supply of condos in the DC area, thus lending credence to your prediction that prices will collapse. I agree that there is probably an oversupply, but they continue to be bought up, and not just by people flipping them, even places that have come onto the market in the wake of fed warnings and economic reports demonstrating weakness in the fundamentals of the condo market. My point is that showing a string of pictures of DC condo developments doesn't really help your claim unless and until the bottom falls out on the demand side. Until then, all it proves is that DC is undergoing rapid gentrification/development in certain neighborhoods, most notably Logan Circle (in the end stages), Columbia Heights, the NE H St Corridor, and Shaw/Mt Vernon Sq.

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  40. Well Anonymous...like I said, a friend of mine just purchased a condo in Terraza with the sole intnet of flipping it. I believe a good portion of these condos have been purchased by speculators and once the prices start dropping they will try to sell quickly, which will cause prices to drop even faster. I know that once my friend sees that they might lose money they will try to quickly sell.

    This is just my opinion of course.

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  41. And a friend of mine bought in one of the new downtown condos with the intent of living there for the next 5-7 years.

    So what?

    And I agree with 3:48 above on calling BS.

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  42. Scooby Doo,

    The fact that you have anecdotal evidence that people are still flipping doesn't prove anything. DC is fundamentally different from Florida and NoVa because so many people work in the District and are unwilling to deal with the time costs of commuting. Yes, the market is plainly overvalued. Yes, supply is currently exceeding demand. But well placed units in good neighborhoods still fly off the market, even though it is a buyer's market. Simply put, there are some places that people want to LIVE so badly that even inflated prices will not stop them. As long as sufficient numbers of people continue to want to live in those areas, even with higher supply, even with higher interest rates, there won't be a collapse. A flattening, or even a decline, yes. A collapse? It's certainly possible, but treating it like it's inevitable makes you as foolhardy as people who still think they'll double their money on a townhouse in Reston.

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  43. Anonymous wrote:

    in particular: terraza has already sold half of its units, fillmore is sold out except for two units, and recently sold a penthouse for over $900k, the "blue building" (cityview) has been sold out for some time, the visio is sold out, and that leaves only the beauregard.

    I live at 11th & W and this is simply not true. In particular, the Terraza had "sold" stickers on 2 of the 3 front units months ago. Then they disappeared, then the Terraza units weren't listed anywhere. Then 5 of them showed up on zip realty with days on the market reset to zero. Definitely some shennanigans going on there. I've also watched as Beuregard, Fillmore, and Visio all dropped their prices. Meanwhile, there are lots of unsold units in the 2020 lofts (see lockboxes around back), and two more 100+ units buildings are set to open very soon.

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  44. Anon said:

    "I've also watched as Beuregard, Fillmore, and Visio all dropped their prices."

    Yep. Their asking prices were too high, so they reduced. This demonstrates that the market has cooled down since the days when people came in above asking for everything. But it doesn't show much more than that. The amount that they dropped still turned the developers healthy profits and outpaced the prices paid for units in that area in the past. Notably, if you search for Terraza around the various local websites, you'll see that 4 of the units there are under contract. They haven't really been on the market all that long, given the "transitional" neighborhood in which they sit and the fact that they are relatively small "luxury" condos.

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