Why Developer Overconfidence May be Good for D.C. Renters

After years of dramatically rising rents, relief for D.C.'s renters may have finally arrived. A weakened local economy combined with a glut of new properties on the market (and more coming) will lead to more leasing discounts for area residents.

"Since the start of 2012, nearly 10,000 new apartments have been added to the local market, a level of new supply not seen since the peak of the prior building boom," writes Erica Champion, a senior real estate economist with CoStar Group in D.C. "Although the supply is not far beyond the typical volume of demand, which has historically handled about 1,500 units per quarter, recent leasing activity has not necessarily been tracking at historical levels because hiring has slowed and the local economy has been taking some well-known lumps recently."

"As a result, it could be a renter’s market here in the near term," she notes. "With more available units than renters to fill them, landlords are expected to pull out bigger incentives in order to lure tenants to their properties. While rents may appear to be just as expensive on the surface, the concessions offered should become more generous, and most of that will likely come in the form of free rent."

Full Story: Increase in supply of apartments bodes well for D.C. area renters

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