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As DC Opens Up, the New Condo Market Perks Up

by Nena Perry-Brown

A rendering of Tribeca condos in NoMa.

While home sales in the DC region are slowing a bit due to an inventory shortage and high prices, the new condo market is seeing demand rise again.

In 2020, general economic uncertainty and a sense of urgency led many buyers who were looking at condos to opt for resale (existing) units so that they could move in as quickly as possible. Now, people feel more comfortable planning for the long-term.

"With the increased distribution and availability of a vaccine and with bars and restaurants starting to reopen, buyers are regaining confidence in the long-term outlook of the market," Clint Mann, president of condo marketing and sales firm Urban Pace, explained to UrbanTurf. "As people are getting details on their return to office plans, they are starting to get comfortable purchasing a new home that is not an immediate delivery." 

Chris Masters, executive vice president at marketing and sales firm McWilliams|Ballard, has also noticed demand for new condos picking back up in conjunction with vaccines becoming more widely available.

"As business, employers and the general market has 'opened up', we've seen a robust return to sales in June and July," Masters says. 

The roof at 1625 Eckington.

The "opening up" process has also led to more in-person traffic. "We've had two large scale open houses at our two communities at Quincy Lane, 1625 Eckington and City Homes, and have seen robust turnout at both," Masters told UrbanTurf. 

This renewed confidence in buying a new home has even compelled some to return to the city, and those predictions of youngish adults using their pandemic savings to buy homes are seemingly bearing fruit.

"We are finding that a lot of people who moved away or home with their parents during the pandemic are now ready to use the savings they made on a down payment," Mann told us. "We are seeing more and more out-of-state inquiries for people who used to live in DC and plan on returning now that their offices are starting to bring people back."

Despite this, the prevalence of working from home since the onset of the pandemic has continued to influence what's on buyers' wishlists for prospective units.

"Some people will have a hybrid between office and remote work so a home office area is more important than ever to buyers," Mann says. "That space might mean a slightly larger one bedroom to allow room for a desk or, if their budget allows, the addition of a den."

An interior rendering of Monarch condos in Tyson Corner.

Marc Ross, senior vice president at Compass, has noticed a dilemma between what buyers were looking for in new construction and what was available at their price point, noting that larger units with outdoor space or room for workspaces tended to be in sizable developments and priced upwards of $650,000. "We were seeing buyers flocking to townhouses first and considering condos second if they are priced out," Ross told UrbanTurf.

Despite the recent rebound, the market still seems to be in that lull that typically occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Ross says their condo showings are down 50%, explaining that "buyers [are] making up for lost travel time." With all of this in mind, however, agents are anticipating a busy fall season.

"If you are looking, now is the time to swoop before buyers return for fall market."

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/as-dc-opens-up-the-new-condo-market-perks-up/18530

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