DC metro ranks No. 9 for new apartment construction this year

The D.C. region ranks No. 9 among U.S. metropolitan areas for the number of new apartments that will be completed in 2022.

RentCafe estimates more than 14,200 new apartment units have been completed across the D.C. region this year, or will be by the end of the year.

That is notable because the area is one of the few in the top 10 that is outside of the Sun Belt, where populations are growing much faster, chiefly in Florida, Texas and Arizona.

New apartment construction is happening across the region, with the District leading. D.C. has almost 4,600 new apartment units arriving this year, half of which have already delivered.

The District is followed by Virginia’s Alexandria and Arlington. That growth is largely fueled by housing demand from Amazon’s HQ2.

Much of the new apartment construction this year is along Metro’s Silver Line.

“One of the things that we see is becoming more predominant in the work-from-home type of environment, until people get this hybrid model figured out, is that transit-oriented development has again become much more significant,” said Doug Ressler, manager of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix, sister division of rent cafe.

The vast majority of new apartment construction in the D.C. region is Class A, meaning amenity-rich, and expensive to rent.

“That doesn’t exclude the fact that affordable is being done to some degree. And also, you are seeing a lot of adaptive reuse. In fact, D.C. is the poster child for adaptive reuse in terms of taking existing stock with good bones, like office, and converting them into housing,” Ressler said.

Office conversions to residential tend come to market with less expensive rents than newly-constructed Class A buildings.

Even with a strong pipeline, new apartment delivery in the D.C. metro in 2022 is projected to be 14% lower than 2021, and below the average annual delivery numbers over the past five years.

Nationwide, 420,000 new apartment units will deliver this year. New rental residential contrition over the last two years is at a 50-year high.

RentCafe’s national report can be found online.

Below is a list of leaders for new apartment construction in the Greater Washington region this year:

(Courtesy RentCafe)
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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