Washington, DC

Rent in DC Holds Steady in Oct., Is Most Expensive in Arlington

Nicholas E. Barron

Rents in Washington, D.C., held steady in Oct., while many other cities across the country saw continued rent increases.

According to Apartment List’s Oct. 2021 Rent Report, the median rent in DC didn’t change last month. Nationwide, though, average rents increased .8%.

Despite not changing in Oct., rents in DC have increased 8.4% since Jan. This time last year, DC’s median rent had dropped 9.9%.

DC’s 2021 median rent increase of 8.4% trails other metropolitan areas, including Miami and Austin. Rent in those cities is up 27.5% and 24.2%, respectively, so far this year.

Across the country, the median rents increased 16.4 percent since Jan.

Where it’s most expensive to rent in the DC area

In Oct., the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in DC was $1,808 and $1,828 for a two-bedroom unit.

“Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of DC, but across the entire metro,” Apartment List said.

Across the DC metro, rents are cheapest in the District of Columbia and most expensive in Arlington. The median rent for an Arlington two-bedroom apartment is $2,460.

But rent’s gone up the most this year in Frederick, Md. The median rent in that town is up 16.5% since Jan.

Bethesda’s experienced the lowest rent growth, with the median rent just 2% higher than in Jan.

DC’s median rent ranks 80th out of the country’s 100 largest metro areas.

San Franciso, Los Angeles, and Boston have the nation’s highest rents. In those cities, two-bedroom apartments rent for $2,770, $2,220, and $2,170, respectively.

National rent growth slows heading into winter.

While rent’s up in most cities across the country so far this year, the pace of rent growth is leveling off.

“From March through September, virtually all of the nation’s 100 largest cities have experienced rapid and uninterrupted rent growth,” Apartment List said.

But rent grew slower in 95 of the nation’s 100 largest cities in Oct. compared to Sep.

“And 22 of these cities actually saw rents fall this month, the most since January,” Apartment List said. “Keep in mind, however, that in October 2019, rents declined in 76 of these cities.”

Fall is usually a transition period as rents begin to decrease from their summer highs. According to RentHop, apartment rents tend to be lowest between Dec. and Aug. each year.

Along with seasonality, Apartment List said increasing vacancies might help slow rent growth as we head into winter.

The company’s apartment vacancy index increased to 4.1% in Oct., up from a low of 3.8% in Aug.

“If our vacancy rate continues to increase in the coming months, it’s likely that rent growth will also continue to cool,” Apartment List said.

How has your rent changed so far this year? Let me know in the comments. And, if you find this article interesting, be sure to share it with others.

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