The DC Condo Market, Part 5: The Top 20 Fastest Selling Condos

by Will Smith

UrbanTurf and McWilliams|Ballard have partnered to produce a series of articles that look at the new condo market in the DC area over the last 18 months. Below is the fifth and final article in the series. The report upon which this article is based is available for free download here. Also be sure to read:

Poolside at West Village of Shirlington

Our previous articles about the new condo market in the DC metropolitan area have focused on the trends affecting cities, counties, and neighborhoods throughout the region. For our fifth and final installment in the series, we look at individual condo projects—specifically, the list of 20 new buildings that sold units fastest during the first half of 2009. Given that the first quarter of this year was perhaps the worst in history for the new condo market, the projects on the list below deserve kudos for figuring out how to sell their units even amidst such soft demand.

As with the other installments in our series, this list is based on an excerpt from Midyear 2009 Washington Metro Area Condominium Market Overview, a report by real estate sales and marketing firm McWilliams|Ballard. That excerpt is available for free download here.


The projects above are ranked according to how many individual units were sold from January 1st through June 30th. While the sales numbers are provided as a range, the ranking is absolute in that every project on the list sold more units than the project below it (except where a tie is noted).

CityVista in Mount Vernon Triangle

The top 3 projects deserve special mention. The 292-unit K at CityVista at K and 5th NW (map) is one of three buildings in the larger CityVista complex that includes enviable ground-floor amenities like Safeway, Busboys & Poets, and Results Gym. The CityVista complex, which takes up the entire city block, has emerged as something of a hub for the nascent Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood.

West Village of Shirlington is a blended project the includes one and two-bedroom condos, two-bedroom cottages, and three-bedroom townhomes. Located along South Four Mile Run in Arlington (map), it is walking distance to its namesake the Village at Shirlington, one of Northern Virginia’s most popular restaurant districts and a regional exemplar of new urbanism.

The lobby at Jenkins Row in Capitol Hill

Jenkins Row is the largest new development in Capitol Hill. Located just across the street from the Potomac Avenue Metro on the Blue and Orange lines (map), the 247-unit project offers a variety of one, two, and three-bedroom units. A brand new Harris Teeter is in the ground floor, and the restaurant-lined Barracks Row as well as DC institution Eastern Market are within walking distance.

An obvious trend among these three properties and the other popular buildings on the list is the amenities they offer either on the premises or within a short walking distance. This isn’t much of a surprise, since many condo buyers choose condo living to pursue a more urban, walkable lifestyle. This trend is made even more clear by the fact that 10 of the top 20 projects are within the District. “Of all the remaining new condo inventory throughout the region, 40 percent of it is within DC or Arlington,” McWilliams|Ballard director of market research Mark Franceski told UrbanTurf.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_dc_condo_market_part_5_the_top_20_fastest_selling_condos/1362


  1. FourthandEye said at 1:08 pm on Thursday October 1, 2009:

    Would be interesting to see how the rankings would look if it ran through Aug 31st rather than June 30th. I believe Madrigal Lofts had a surge of 17 settlements in the month of July.

  1. SimonF said at 1:29 pm on Thursday October 1, 2009:

    This is pretty fascinating. I LOVE Jenkins Row, so am not surprised that it is selling fast. I recently visited with a friend that wants to buy there, and was regretting my condo purchase from a year ago. Nice to see that Yale Steam is up there as well.

  1. bone said at 2:47 pm on Thursday October 1, 2009:

    I’m not sure how well gross sales shows how fast units are selling.  The Coronado sold extremely quickly, which is not surprising considering the location and very reasonable prices, but there are less than 30 units in the entire building.  Theoretically, a building could sell out in one day but would not rank highly on this list if the total number of units in the building is small.  On the flipside, if the Coronado had twice as many units would all of them have sold as quickly?  Maybe not.

  1. Will Smith said at 3:04 pm on Thursday October 1, 2009:

    bone -

    Thanks for your comment. You make a fair point.

    When compiling the list we had to decide whether the ranking should be ordered according to absolute number of units sold, or percentage of total building inventory sold. Ultimately we opted for the former because the number of units sold seemed a better indicator of movement in what has been a very harrowing market.

    If we had chosen the latter method, a 25-unit building that sold all 25 units (100% of inventory) over the first six months of the year would have outranked a 250-unit building that sold 25 units per month for all six months (60% of inventory). So that method just didn’t seem like an accurate ranking of sales velocity to us.

  1. Mike K said at 3:34 pm on Thursday October 1, 2009:

    Thanks for this series. Found it very educational and interesting.

  1. Dennis said at 8:41 am on Friday October 2, 2009:

    Good point Bone.  I favor The Flats at Union Row - it’s a large project BUT it starting delivering units over 2 years ago.  So that falls into the mix as well.  Sustainable sales levels are very meaningful.

  1. Solea Condominiums said at 1:25 pm on Monday October 5, 2009:

    I’m not sure about this list either. We had 31 gross sales at Solea in the first half of the year, yet we’re not on the list. I’m not sure why McWilliams Ballard doesn’t capture that data, particularly since they are selling it.

  1. Mark @ McWilliams|Ballard said at 2:19 pm on Monday October 5, 2009:

    Neither our report nor this list count ADU sales toward sales figures and Solea had a number of ADU sales in the first half of the year. Perhaps that should have been made more clear, but hopefully this helps. I don’t believe there were quite 31 sales even including ADUs at Solea, and I can vouch for the fact that there were not enough market rate sales at Solea to merit its inclusion on this list.

  1. Jason said at 8:34 pm on Tuesday October 6, 2009:

    Wow, even tho ADUs aren’t counted City Vista still made #1? That’s impressive!

  1. DC native said at 12:01 pm on Monday October 19, 2009:

    I’ve been hearing a lot about CityVista lately…although i heard they sold closer to 120 since january…did anyone else hear that?

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