Homeownership

D.C. Renters Give City ‘A-‘ Overall, ‘D’ for Affordability: Study

Results from an Apartment List study reveals that while most renters in D.C. are relatively satisfied with life in the nation’s capital, they wrestle with concerns such as quality of local schools, state and local taxes, safety and affordability/cost of living.

However, when asked to assign a grade to those particular concerns, the renters gave D.C. a “C” for satisfaction, and an “A” in categories that include local jobs and career opportunities and access to public transit, according to the Washington Renter Confidence Survey.

“Renters in D.C. seem to be very satisfied with their city overall,” said Andrew Woo, director of Data Science at Apartment List. “They gave average or above average scores in many categories, though they would like to see some changes in others.”

Other well-rated categories for the city included commute times, which was graded with a B, a B- for weather and a B+ for access to parks.

Relative to cities such as New York (B) and Philadelphia (B), D.C. did quite well, coming in close behind other cities such as Boston (A+).

Renting in the D.C. area can be a bit challenging for millennials and others looking to move to the area in search of better careers and housing opportunities. But depending on what renters seek in terms of budgets and location, here are a few examples of what the District has to offer:

Downtown Washington D.C. borders some less fashionable but historic and ethnically diverse neighborhoods. If you can stand Convention Center parking headaches, you might find a 1BD/1BA for as little as $2,100/month in Chinatown.

Anacostia is the Brooklyn of D.C. It’s where those Navy Yard dockworkers went home to. $800/month is an average price for a 1BD/1BA; and it’s not unusual to find a 2BD unit for less than $1,000/month.

Navy Yard, historically the industrial area, is currently enjoying revitalization along the lines of condos and high-rises. All this competition, though, doesn’t drive the price very low: look hard and you may find a 1BD for $1,500/month or a 2BD for $2,000/month.

Georgetown’s aesthetic is impeccable, but don’t get your hopes up for living in a quaint two bedroom/one bathroom row house down a cobblestone lane unless you can drop $3,150/month.

Adams Morgan — Everyone and their mom who can’t afford some of the more-costly neighborhoods may want to be in AdMo (insider slang for Adams Morgan). The upper range for studios is $2,200/month; add $600/month for one bedroom / one bath units in this area.

“In addition to being a sizable population, renters are also a highly mobile demographic, moving nearly five times as often as homeowners,” said Andrew Tam, Apartment List’s vice president of Data Science. “City and state policymakers, business leaders, and community leaders must put themselves in a position to attract and retain this large and growing population.”

The Apartment List survey, which will be officially released in its full content on Sept. 8, drew on responses from more than 30,000 renters, and also provides insight into what states and cities must do to meet the needs of the 105 million American renters nationwide.

To obtain a copy, email Andrew Tam at Andrew@ApartmentList.com.

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