It’s no surprise to say that rents in the District are high, but if it feels like they’ve been getting especially high lately, it’s because they have. An analysis of Census and American Community Survey data from the past decade reveals that the median contract rent in the District has risen 52 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since 2000. That’s compared with only an 8 percent rise nationally, as this chart shows:
These numbers only represent the median in the whole city, and surely some neighborhoods are more expensive than others. But data limitations make it difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s happening in individual neighborhoods.
What’s driving D.C.’s rental trend is less clear. A few leading theories include heightened demand for city-living, a strong local economy and a more transient population that’s not interested in buying, compared with other cities. Whatever the case, it’s clear that the District’s rents are definitely trending upward.
Rob Pitingolo blogs at Extraordinary Observations. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.