Washington, D.C.’s Apartments Are Expensive But Affordable

D.C. Metro Area Residents Are Among the Nation’s Wealthiest So They Can Afford Luxury Apartments

Virtually every city in the United States has less expensive apartments than Washington, D.C., but the nation’s capital has affordable apartments.

The above sentence seems wrong, but it is 100 percent correct because the residents of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding metropolitan area are among the wealthiest in the nation. In contrast, some of the cities with more expensive apartments have less wealthier residents so they are less capable of affording median-priced and luxury apartments in their locale.

According to the January, 2019, Zumper National Rent Report, Washington, D.C. has the seventh highest one-bedroom apartment and two-bedroom apartment median rent prices in the United States. The report lists the median rent prices of 100 cities. Nationwide, the overall median one-bedroom apartment costs $1,217 per month while the median two-bedroom apartment costs $1,440 per month.

The median price for one-bedroom apartments for rent in Washington DC is $2,100 per month while the median price for two-bedroom apartments for rent in Washington DC is $2,640 per month. San Francisco is first in both categories with median prices of $3,500 and $4,650 per month for one- and two-bedroom apartments respectively. Akron, Ohio, is 100th in both categories with median prices of $540 and $740 per month.

The cities with more expensive apartments than the apartments for rent in Washington DC besides San Francisco are:
* New York City: Second in median rents for one-bedroom apartments at $2,750 per month and third for two-bedroom apartments at $3,110 per month.
* San Jose: Third in the one-bedroom category at $2,490 per month and tied for fourth in the two-bedroom category at $3,000 per month.
* Boston: Fourth in one-bedroom median rents at $2,450 per month and sixth in two-bedroom median rents at $2,700 per month.
* Los Angeles: Fifth in the median price of one-bedroom apartments at $2,420 per month and second for two-bedroom apartments at $3,220 per month.
* Oakland: Sixth in the one-bedroom category at $2,350 per month and tied for fourth in the two-bedroom category at $3,000 per month.

The eighth through 20th cities with the most expensive median-priced one-bedroom apartments are San Diego, Seattle, Miami, Santa Ana, Calif., Honolulu, Anaheim, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, Calif., Providence, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, and New Orleans.

Washington, D.C. metropolitan area residents are more capable of affording apartments in Washington, D.C. than New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles metro area residents are of affording apartments in the major city near them. That’s because the D.C. area is the USA’s third wealthiest metro area behind San Jose and San Francisco-Oakland according to this article, which is based on U.S. Census Bureau data. Its median household income of $95,843 is about $800 less than the Bay Area figure so D.C. residents might be more capable of affording luxury apartments than S.F.-Oakland-area residents as well.

The New York City metro area ranks 24th in median household income at $71,897 while the Boston metro area ranks fifth at $82,380 and the Los Angeles metro area isn’t listed at all, apparently because it’s been broken up into several metro areas. The Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura area is Southern California’s wealthiest, ranking eighth.

The Washington, D.C. area is also the second best educated behind Ann Arbor, Mich., a possible precursor of future wealth, according to 11 educational metrics analyzed by WalletHub and published in this CNBC article. More than half of the residents of the Washington, D.C., area have post-secondary degrees; the national average is 34.2 percent.

In addition, the first, second, third, and seventh wealthiest counties in the USA are in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., while the fourth wealthiest is in central Maryland, not far from the D.C. area, according to this article. The wealthiest state? Well, that would be Maryland, according to this article. Virginia is ninth.

The bottom line is that apartments for rent in Washington DC seem expensive when you first glance at the data, but knowing how well the metropolitan area’s residents are doing economically puts the data in context. Apartments for rent in Washington DC are, in fact, affordable for a large percentage of area residents.

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About the Author: danny watson