DC-area apartment landlords top the nation for offering renters deals

Landlords are offering more concessions in the D.C. area than anywhere else in the country.

Landlords are making more concessions to attract renters, and the D.C. area ranks at the top of the list for it right now.

Real estate firm Zillow says 57.5% of rental listings in the D.C. region listed some type of landlord concession in July, up from 27.4% a year ago. That’s also up 33.7% since before the pandemic.

Nationwide, 30.4% of landlords were offering residential rental concessions in July.

The D.C. market ranks at the top of the list among the 50 largest metro areas across the U.S. in terms of percentage of rental listings that offered concessions.

The typical rent price in the Washington area market was $2,182 in July, down 0.5% from a year ago, according to Zillow.

The top landlord concessions being offered are free months or weeks of rent, accounting for 90.8% of all concessions offered. That is followed by waived or reduced deposits, at 9.1%, and free parking, at 6.6%.

The median amount of free rent being offered is six weeks. That translates into an 11.5% discount on a one-year lease term.

“Before the pandemic, rent growth was accelerating and the nation was seeing concessions dwindle. That trend reversed sharply after the pandemic hit in February,” said Zillow economist Joshua Clark.

“In a softer market, landlords are trying to push the right button to bring renters into their space,” he said.

Concessions are also often a leading indicator of a coming drop in rental rates, though landlords offer concessions before cutting rent.

In the first week in July, 12.4% of U.S. renters missed a rent payment.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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