March 19, 2006


Wanna live in DC in high style and in a great, West End location? Got a couple of million burning a hole in your pocket, head over to the Residence at the Ritz Carlton at 23rd and M Sts. NW where there currently are at least six units on the market ranging in size from 1,400 square feet to 5,600 square feet. Enjoy: hotel amenities such as room or concierge service, patios or balconies, fireplaces, granite counters, hardwood floors, parking, blah, blah, blah.

Here's a sampling:
$4.75 million, 5,644 square feet, 5 bdrm, 6.5 bath, MLS #: DC5522365
$3.25 million, 4,200 square feet, 5 bdrm, 7 bath, MLS #: DC5522361
$1.075 million, 1,422 square feet, 2 bdrm, 2 bath, MLS #: DC5525220
$1.275 million, unavailable square feet, 2 bdrm, 2 bath, MLS #: DC5525175

The number of bathrooms in some of these units is astounding. That oddity aside, one has to wonder how long it will take for prices to start coming down.

One million dollars plus gets you a very nice house in DC, but without all the amenities of the Ritz, so there are alternatives. Of couse the people looking at these condos probably would not consider the comparably sized units in other building (Adams Morgan for instance) because those properties are in less desirable neighborhoods. Even with the Trader Joe's coming, the West End still is not Georgetown and does not have the cache of the Watergate.

How long can a $5 million property sit there before a few hundred thousand dollars is shaved from the price here and there? These properties may not be an illustration of a bubble, but rather an overreach on the part of the developers.

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