by October 10, 2011 at 10:50 am 2,116 0

Borderstan, New Hampshire Avenue NW

It’s a tight, expensive rental market in DC. (Matty Rhoades)

From Matty Rhoades. 

In last week’s reader poll, we asked Borderstanis how much they pay in rent. Readers were asked to select a range per monthly rent. So, how does your monthly rent-check-pain compare?

Considering how rapidly the value of real estate has escalated in the last decade in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area, the results were not particularly surprising: Only 21% of poll takers said they paid $1,000 or less.

The largest chunk of readers, 43%, said they pay from $1,001 to $1,500 a month in rent. A total of 36% pay $1,501 or more each month. Total results are below.

  • $500 or Less: 1%
  • $501 to $1,000: 21%
  • $1,001 to $1,500: 43%
  • $1,501 to $2,000: 20%
  • $2,001 to $3,000: 13%
  • More than $3,000: 3%

One Logan Circle area realtor told Borderstan, “The average prices in the 20009 zip code are around $1,400 for a studio, $2,000 for a one-bedroom and $3,000-plus for a two bedroom. The real shocker is what is happening with two-bedroom apartments, they are getting very expensive very fast.”

A property owner who rents a number of units in the area said, “”Even though young professionals are locating in areas further away from Dupont/Logan (including NOMA/FL/NY Avenue area, Ledroit Park, Columbia Heights/Petworth, NE Capitol Hill), the areas surrounding 14th St from P to U remains the destination of choice for many, if they can afford it. Also, many previous buyers are unable to buy housing simply because of current traditional mortgage financing qualification requirements. Most lenders are requiring 10 to 20% down payments compared to 5 to 10% in the past.”

“Therefore, many previous would-be buyers are forced to continue to rent and save for an eventual down payment. The strong job market and lack of new units being produced relative to five years ago create a demand over supply situation that has led to rents continuing to rise, especially in highly desirable areas. Another area with huge increase in rents recently is Columbia Hts. Renters like like access to three Metro stops and the availability of abundant new retail and nightlife,” according to this Dupont-Logan landlord.

According to, the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in DC is $1,100 — of course that is for the entire city. NBC Washington reported last month that the average monthly rent for Washington-Arlington-Alexandria is $1,473 per month — a 7% increase in the past year. gives a much higher figure of $1,734 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, with Logan Circle units going for $2,550 for all apartments in the neighborhood. According to a January article on Urban Turf, Trulia came up with a median rental price tag in DC of $2,835 per month for apartments of all sizes.

What’s driving rising rents in DC? Well, demand – jobs are more plentiful here than in many other metro areas. Second, many transplants are choosing to rent instead of buy because of the unpredictable economy and housing market.

No wonder more and more people in DC are electing for roommates.


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