DC Habitat for Humanity selected TRAC Auctions to conduct its first round of property auctions on Thursday, Sept. 24. The properties include land, home and apartment buildings and will be sold to the highest bidder regardless of price, according to a corporate release. Known as “Absolute” auctions, they generate a high level of interest because of no price restrictions. Prospective buyers know the property will be sold. Washington, D.C. property auctions experienced a rise in the past year because of the 10% annual tax increase imposed on vacant properties, said Tom Gimer, one of TRAC’s owners. "Most people can't afford to hold properties in the District anymore. For those who understand the time value of money, auction is clearly the best route," Gimer said. The proceeds of the auctions go toward funding for DC Habitat for Humanity as it tries to expand affordable housing in the D.C., said Dennis Smyth, land acquisition coordinator for DC Habitat. Paul Sobwick, TRAC’s lead auctioneer, sees the agreement benefiting all parties. “The auction buyers will be acquiring these vacantproperties at a price they are comfortable with and then improving them and the surrounding areas. Meanwhile, DC Habitat can reinvest the proceeds from the sale of these non-performing assets into its ongoing projects in the District,” Sobwick said. Write to Jon Prior.