Real Estate

UrbanLand Sees Change in Condo Financing

The small developer is alive and kicking again in the DC area, says Gerard DiRuggiero, president of real estate sales and marketing firm UrbanLand Company. After years of sitting on the sidelines either by choice or lack of financing, DC developers have recently become upbeat.

“Nearly all of our developer clients have expressed interest in getting a small condo project started during the next twelve months,” notes DiRuggiero. This is not all that surprising to DiRuggiero, whose UrbanLand firm handles sales for large projects like The Floridian in the U Street Corridor, as well as smaller projects throughout Columbia Heights, H Street, and Eckington. He sees a condo market that has stabilized, with buyers eager to take advantage of historically low interest rates and high-quality product that was built during the past few years. What does surprise DiRuggiero is a change in attitude by the local banks, who ultimately control the purse strings and determine whether new condos will get built.

“I’ve been shocked by the number of construction lenders at area banks who have called me to say they are back in the condo finance market again.” UrbanLand has seen instances in which the original developer of a project could not sell the units. Rather than go through the burdensome and expensive process of foreclosing on the development, the lender has sold the loan to a new investor. This new investor then either works with the original developer/borrower or brings in a new team, but ultimately finishes the project, reevaluates the prices, and re-releases the units on the market.

DiRuggiero has seen this scenario play out several times recently and UrbanLand will soon be releasing a project similar to this in Eckington, which has spacious two-bedrooms/2.5-baths with great views, starting under $300K. The project will be announced on UrbanLand’s Facebook page so that its fans will get an exclusive preview as part of the company’s See It First initiative. Follow UrbanLand on Facebook for this exclusive as well as future exclusives, announcements, and pre-sales.

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