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Condo-monium: Demand is up for luxury units in the Washington area
The Washington Post
September 27, 2013

Gabriel Ross, 35, and his husband, Sean Broderick, 40, had grown comfortable in their Cincinnati single-family home, which included a movie theater, wine cellar and second kitchen in 4,500 square feet of living space. When they relocated to Washington to accommodate Broderick’s career in government relations, they knew it would mean downsizing — but it turned out space was the only thing they had to give up.

At Archstone First + M, a 469-unit apartment building in the District’s up-and-coming NoMa neighborhood, their two-bedroom with den is less than a third the size of their previous home. But the apartment, which rents for a little more than $4,000 a month, came with myriad amenities: a rooftop featuring a heated pool and views of the Washington Monument, plus a fitness center, bike maintenance facility, music practice rooms and demonstration kitchen. The couple has already entertained guests in the building’s movie theater and ultra-modern social space.

“It’s so unusual and different. The amenities are fantastic,” says Ross, who works in finance. “We just fell in love.”

Real estate is on the rise in Washington, aided by the region’s lower-than-average unemployment and higher-than-average economic growth. But it’s smaller, urban units, not suburban single-family homes, that are in demand. A recent report by RealEstate Business Intelligence and George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis found condo sales up nearly 16 percent over last year. Supply has been at record lows, but condos are making a comeback, with new listings up 17.5 percent over last year, according to RBI. Research group Delta Associates said in July that 2,300 condo units were scheduled to start construction in the region this year; more than 30,000 new rental apartments are expected within the next three years. Read more »