Yup, The Rent in DC is Really High

Photo by PoPville flickr user itsnoteasybeingaprincess90

Those who follow the afternoon rental options won’t be surprised but I didn’t realize rent had increased this much. The Washington Post reports this morning:

“In this region, rental prices surged 22 percent in 2009 from a decade earlier, according to the latest inflation-adjusted Census figures.

In local apartment buildings, rents jumped 8.2 percent — about twice the long-term average — to $1,643 this year as vacancies disappeared, according to a study to be released next week by Delta Associates, a Alexandria-based research firm. The area’s vacancy rates are the second-lowest in the nation, after New York City.”

Yikes, but I’ll still do my best to find some good ones!

25 Comment

  • i prefer to think of them as too damn high. yep, i went there.

  • Well, if you have a better idea for keeping out the riffraff, I’m all ears.

  • I wouldn’t consider a 22% rise over 10 years a ‘surge’.

    • I was thinking the same thing. 2.2% per year? Not a surge.

      But one could also read that poorly worded sentence to mean that prices held steady for a decade then jumped 22% in one year (2009). Now, THAT would be a surge. Also not very likely.

      • It’s inflation adjusted, so the actual number is much higher than 22% — probably closer to 50% in 2000 dollars.

      • Who wanted to live here in 2000? Not as many people as now.It’s not expensive if the market will bear it. Don’t live in the Palisades if you don’t want to pay 2k a month for a one bedroom. . .

    • Agreed. So many areas have become a LOT pricier in the past 10 years, like Northern VA and many neighborhoods in DC. Even in a stable area I don’t think it’s unusual to see the rent go up 22% over the course of a decade. That means an apartment going for $900 in 2000 would be $1098 now.

      • Closer to $1350. And incomes haven’t risen in that period at a similar pace. Not sure locally, but middle class folks nationally didn’t see very much wage inflation at all under Bush. The economic climate is squeezing people from both ends — income and cost of living.

      • 22% increase from $900 is $2,502.90. Go back to school!

        • Two things: First, I don’t know how you got 2,502.90 but it seems to me that your school was not that good: 900*(1+0.22)=1098. Second, a 22% increase over 10 years actually is approximately approximately a 2% increase ((1+2.00845%)^10~=22%)

          • A quick way to verfiy the math:

            20% would be 1/5th of $900= $180.
            25% would be 1/4th of $900= $225.

            So you can see that a 22% increase would fall somewhere between $180-225.

          • Math girl, you forgot to square the high pottenoose. Don’t you know that? 🙂

            LikesMath should probably stick to the Humanities.

          • Math hurts brains. Maybe LikesMath was also including the underlying inflation rate since, as Tres pointed out, the 22% is inflation-adjusted. I highly doubt that’s what he/she did, but maybe…Otherwise, Anonymous has the math down.

  • Increases aren’t bad if they’re matched by increases in median income. I am fairly certain that is not the case here.

    For a handy reference on just how unaffordable DC is for most people, check out Paycheck to Paycheck: http://www.nhc.org/chp/p2p/

  • I can’t believe the couple who couldn’t find a tiny apartment for less than $3,700/month in Bethesda and had to settle for paying $4,500/month to rent a house. Is it really that expensive out there?

    • If you want all of the amenities with and a metro stop in the basement, sure. If you want to live like Joe Sixpack, rent is a lot lower. Unfortunately, lots of people want the good stuff. A big house in Petworth will run between 2-3k. Foxhall? Fugeddaboutit.

      • I guess the problem is when people come to DC and try to live like Joe Sixpack in Anywhere USA– that is, living in a a modest single family home with a 15-minute commute.

        • Hey, I do. Modest home in P’Worth, but I only have an 11 minute commute. Not everyone can live like the rich but if you forego the over-built kitchens, seven bathrooms and retractible ceiling, you don’t need to.

    • No, they aren’t. We live in an 1br in an apartment building that is literally on top of the metro. We pay $1865 which includes a $150/mo parking space. Not sure where this couple was looking. We have 750sf, no kids, and no pets.

  • Does anyone think the government pay freeeze will affect rent increases?

    • If anything, it’ll depress rents somewhat, but this effect could be overpowered by other factors mentioned in the article, like the current vacancy rate.

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