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A design rendering for “The Axiom,” a long-stalled project now underway again.

According to Delta Associates’ latest condo report, sales were up 34 percent in the Washington D.C. area in 2009. After years of buyers imagining the region as an abyss of empty condo buildings, this news could change people’s mentality. The well isn’t entirely dry, but you can begin to glimpse the bottom. The Washington Business Journal reports that last year’s sales have moved “the pace it would take to deplete the current supply of condos for sale down to 2.6 years compared to 5.9 years at the end of 2008.” Here’s more from the Business Journal:

Arlington and Alexandria will likely be the first areas to see a pipeline shortage and, thus, a rise in prices with just a 1.4-year supply of new units. D.C. has a 1.8-year supply…Suburban Maryland, however, has not fared so well. Prince George’s had a 22-year inventory-to-sale ratio at the end of 2009.

The news shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. There’s been very little new condo construction to add to the supply in the last year or so. (Though, it’s starting to pick up!) Plus, the 2009 homebuyer credit, which expired in late November, was targeted entirely to first-time buyers in relatively low income brackets—for example, couples collectively making over $150,000 could not partake.  This group was able to drain the region’s inventory considerably. In Washington D.C., there were 524 sales in 2009; In Arlington, 439 sales; And in Alexandria, 273 sales.

Image by Bonstra Haresign