Rent in D.C. higher than San Francisco, L.A., NYC

WASHINGTON – D.C.-area rents are higher than those in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, according to data from the 2010 federal census.

“They’re high. The incomes are generally pretty good as well,” says Mike Blum, principal with Insight Property Group.

Even Blum was surprised to learn the census numbers indicate the median rent in the D.C. area was $1,391. It is second only to San Jose, Calif., for most expensive rental housing market among the 50 most populous metro areas.

However, since the last numbers were gathered in 2011, apartment hunters may be catching a break.

“Rents have softened in the last year or so largely due to a lot of new units coming online,” Blum says.

Among the most popular rental areas are D.C.’s emerging neighborhoods, where newly built apartments are being snapped up by younger and older people who choose to rent rather than buy, he says.

While rent in and around the Washington area is high, Blum says bargains can be found.

“There’s always a wide range of housing available, the older stock is generally priced below the new class-A luxury product that’s coming onto the market,” Blum says.

Blum expects rents won’t rise much in the months ahead.

“We’re projecting, in our development deals, modest growth for the next couple of years,” he says.

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