These are desperate times for condo developers in Washington DC, and desperate times require desperate measures. This article in the Washington Post highlighted one particularly sad and desperate attempt to roll in some potential buyers. However, it is doubtful if lavish parties will save the DC property market.

Condo sales numbers in the nation's capital are catastrophic. Currently, property developers are selling around 1,600 condos a quarter. During 2005, developers were shifting around 3,000 units a quarter. Think about those numbers for a moment. Imagine if the sales volumes in your business fell by almost half.

Looking forward, the DC market will be saturated with unsold condominiums. Currently, there are about 21,000 under construction, and another 20,000 are slated to construction in the next three years.

Taken together, property developers need to shift 41,000 units while current sales are standing at 1600 units. Given current sales volumes, it will take over six years for the excess inventory to clear. If parties are what it takes to shift condos, then it is party time in the nation's capital.

(Washington Post) The valet parking attendants were at the ready as the SUVs and BMWs pulled up. Men in suits and women in cocktail dresses walked through a white tent into a lobby where bartenders poured Bellinis, Kir royals and orange sorbet mimosas. Waiters passed trays of shrimp, ahi tuna on toast points and cucumber slices with crabmeat.

There was even a paparazzo in the form of Darren Santos. Posing for him in the tent was YouthAIDS founder Kate Roberts, fresh from a trip to India with a delegation that included actress Ashley Judd. "Glamorous and photogenic," Santos gushed.

It was one of the glitziest social events of the week, drawing about 200 people on a Wednesday night. But it wasn't an embassy party or a charity event or a political fundraiser. This was the preview party for the Grant, a new condominium on Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Some of the hottest D.C. parties this spring and summer have combined two of Washington's biggest obsessions: real estate and networking. With the condo market still in a slump, developers are throwing lavish affairs to create buzz for their projects, turning to a marketing technique more common in Miami and New York.

"We're in Washington. People love their events and their black tie and their kind of sassy parties," said Tracy Danneberg, special events coordinator for Metropolis Development, builder of the 90-unit Metropole near Logan Circle. "You have to keep up with it and be different."

Here's why: In the first quarter of 2007, developers sold 1,629 new condos, down from the more than 3,000 they sold each quarter of 2005, according to Gregory H. Leisch, chief executive of the Alexandria real estate research firm Delta Associates. Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2007, there were 21,523 units under construction or being marketed, and another 20,469 units are planned over the next three years, Leisch said.

Hence the parties, some of them lavish affairs with price tags of more than $50,000, others intimate Sunday champagne brunches. There are groundbreaking parties, preview parties, grand opening parties.