Help's on the Way for D.C.'s Weary Renters

With an astounding 6,000 new rental units due to come on the market in D.C. by the end of the year, the city's renters are about to get a welcome respite, report Brady Dennis and Amrita Jayakumar.
August 9, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The coming surge in available units, the vast majority of which are aimed at the city's growing population of young professionals, is "the first such wave of new building in the area since the financial crisis hit in 2008." And for D.C.'s renters - "who have been plagued in recent years by rising rents, fewer vacancies, pickier landlords and periodic bidding wars" - the avalanche could exert welcome downward pressure on rents throughout the city, write Dennis and Jayakumar.

"The projected number of new units would be more than double the number that went on the market in the Washington area during each of the past two years. And by national standards, the coming boom is exceptional - by comparison, only about 2,500 new units are expected to go on the market in New York City this year," note Dennis and Jayakumar.

"But even with the swelling supply of new apartments, finding an affordable home in the Washington region will remain a challenge, analysts said. The average monthly rent in the District is $1,501, according to Reis Research, a commercial real estate research firm. By comparison, people pay $868 a month in Atlanta, $928 in Austin, $1,085 in Seattle and $1,113 in Miami. Nationwide, the average monthly rent is $1,081."

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Published on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 in The Washington Post
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