For the first time since the U.S. housing crash, new condominium towers are sprouting in downtown Boston, Seattle and Los Angeles as developers bet on the return of the riskiest type of residential real estate.
Buyers are signing deals to reserve units in two new high-end projects in Boston. A 41-story tower rising in Seattle is the first phase of the largest condo development ever in the city. In Los Angeles, a 22-floor building is slated for construction later this year, the first ground-up high-rise condo project downtown since 2005.
Construction cranes also spike the skylines of Washington, Houston, Miami, New York and San Francisco as financing gradually returns to a real estate class that lenders shunned for years. Condos are regaining favor after a surge in rental demand pushed the U.S. apartment-vacancy rate to the lowest level in a decade, sending urban rents soaring, while the inventory of for-sale housing remains historically low.
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