Saturday, November 29, 2008

Washington, DC condos are feeling the pain

From The Washington Post:
More than two years into the housing slump, the challenges facing Washington's condos are mounting. Sales prices are falling and are not expected to stabilize soon. The number of condo owners not paying their association fees is rising along with foreclosure rates, creating a budget crunch weighing down many communities.

In the face of budget shortfalls, some associations are taking drastic steps to cope, including delaying maintenance and hiking monthly assessments. Others are setting aside part of their budget to cover delinquencies for a time or looking for ways to help owners catch up on payments.... The options can often be limited by owners' personal financial realities. ...

The problem may get worse before it gets better, according to some industry watchers. Foreclosure rates for condos have been rising. By the end of October, 1,208 condominiums were in the foreclosure process in the Washington area, according to RealtyTrac, a research firm.

The average sales price of new condos fell 3.6 percent in the Washington area during the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago.... The impact on existing condos has been even more dramatic: Sales prices fell 8.1 percent during the third quarter. At the current pace, it would take 8.2 years to sell the finished and almost-completed new-construction condominiums on the market.


  1. the value of my d.c.-area condo fell from $346K in Oct. 2007 to $315K in Nov. 2008. as someone who purchased my condo as a transition space, this is a problem. i likely won't be able to sell the place for a few years -- not good since i have a growing family. in addition, my condo fee is going up 18% percent this year. that's the second hike this year. at this rate, i'll be broke and unable to sell my unit because of high fees. does anyone know what the average increase in condo fees should be annually?

  2. Doesn't your condo owner's association vote on proposed fee increases? Do you have a vote?

    What reason(s) did they give for the increase?

    If you have a child on the way, you have years before they start school, and you'll be cozy in the meantime! (just trying to look at the bright side)

  3. Usually there is a cap on the annual increase. Any increase is adopted by the HOA - requested by the management company and then voted on and approved by the HOA board. The individual owners would have to attend the board meeting to know what was going on. Most do not.