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DC Building Picks Up

It’s been a great year for real estate in DC so far. There’s plenty of new residential construction and lots of property sales.

From October 2012 to July 2013, the District issued permits for 3,328 housing units. When the numbers for the entire fiscal year are in, it will likely surpass the 4,091 permits issued in 2012, which was an increase over the 2,459 issued in 2011. These are both significant improvements over the 499 building permits issued in 2009.

Most of the permits are for construction of DC apartments.  AvalonBay Communities, Inc. recently received permits for a 436-unit apartment building at 55 M Street in Northeast. This is an addition to an existing apartment building at 1160 First Street, NE in NoMa called Archstone First and M. The new building will be a mixed-use 13-story high-rise with three levels of underground parking.  The ground floor will include 1,556 square feet of retail space with apartments above.

Permits were also issued to another 393-unit apartment project at 415 L Street in Northwest. This mixed-use complex is the second phase of the Meridian at Mount Vernon Triangle, currently at 425 L Street, NW. The new 14-story building with large glass windows and a red brick facade is expected to be complete in the fall 2014.

Almost each day, another small apartment building with four to 10 units is approved. With the growing population in DC, there is definitely demand for apartments.

But others are looking to buy and sell real estate in DC. In fact, the value of property transfers in the city has almost doubled since fiscal year 2009. Properties over $300,000 are subject to the deed transfer tax, and the District’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer reports that these property transfers amounted to $9.6 billion in the first 11 moths of fiscal year 2013. The total in 2011 was $10.06 billion.

We’ll have to wait and see if the construction and buying/selling trends continue.

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