If you're not from Washington, D.C., you'll find at first that it's like living in a foreign country. From the ubiquitous mumbo sauce to the near-tropical island levels of humidity, D.C. takes some getting used to. Once settled in, however, you'll find that D.C. is an amazing place to live.
Locals find that there is always something to do, from the almost-required weekend brunch to a myriad of local craft beers to drink after work. Since D.C. has one of the best public transportation systems and highest Walk Scores in the country, it's easy to get around without a car.
One thing that all Washington, D.C. residents agree on is that life there is expensive. While this high cost of living includes housing, beginning late last year, rents for high-end D.C. apartments fell. However, according to the Washington Post, "that doesn't necessarily mean everyone's rents will be pushed down. In fact, rents across the board went up one percent in 2014 and rent increases for lower income earners have rapidly outpaced earnings."
One of the District's most popular neighborhoods for single-family home rentals right now is Takoma, D.C., mainly because of its easy commute. Home prices in this neighborhood are affordable, so this may be the first place to look if you're interested in purchasing rental real estate in D.C. You may also want to see what's available on Rhode Island Avenue in Northeast D.C. as it's undergoing rapid development and is located near the metro station.
Q2 2015 Washington, D.C. Rental Market Update
In Q2 2015, Washington, D.C. was the best rental market in the Northeastern U.S. and 20th-best in the country as a whole. Since Q1 2015, Washington, D.C. retained its first-place spot in the Rental Ranking Report's regional rankings for the Northeastern U.S. but fell five spots in the national rankings.
The Washington, D.C. rental real estate market is unfortunately far from perfect. It suffered from surprisingly low rental price and property value appreciation in Q2 2015 - 1.94 percent and 3.67 percent, respectively - that were both significantly below their respective national averages. This is hardly what you would expect from one of the most desirable housing markets in the country!
While these statistics are hardly impressive, Washington, D.C. rental real estate can still be a lucrative investment. The capitalization rate, a metric used to compare annual rents to property values that is commonly used by investors to gauge the attractiveness of rental properties, was 6.17 percent for Washington, D.C. rentals in Q2 2015. While slightly below the U.S. average during that period, this "cap rate" is hardly horrible and indicates that solid returns can still be earned there. Washington, D.C.'s low median age of housing inventory (54 days, nine days less than the national average), even lower vacancy rate (5.20 percent, about 23 percent less than the national average), and moderately high annual job growth rate of 2.19 percent indicate that demand for housing there is and will likely remain quite strong, making D.C. a profitable market for rental real estate investors for quarters to come.
Q1 2015 Washington, D.C. Rental Market Update
The Q1 2015 Rental Ranking Report found that Washington, D.C. is the best market in the Northeastern U.S. for rental real estate investment and 15th-best in the country as a whole. While the median rent in D.C. fell on a year-over-year basis, property values appreciated 5.70 percent, slightly above the national average, and the median age of its housing inventory is just 49 days, three weeks under the national average. These statistics strongly indicate that demand for D.C. housing is still quite strong, and the negative rent variance experienced over the last year doesn't portend a precipitous future decline in rents.
Several other factors included in the Q1 2015 Rental Ranking Report indicate that Washington, D.C. rents will do just the opposite. While D.C.'s annual job growth was a modest 1.49 percent in the year ending in Q1 2015, our Job Availability Index indicates that future job growth will be much higher; D.C. ranks 12th in the country on this index. Similarly, our Future Rental Availability Index found that new housing construction's inability to keep up with D.C. population growth will leave that market with a unit shortage of close to 60,000, causing D.C. to rank fifth in the country on that index.
What data is this Rental Ranking Report based on?
To calculate the statistics found in the Q2 2015 Rental Ranking Report, All Property Management gathered data, including the most recent government housing and jobs data, for 75 metros across the United States. Specifically, we looked at home vacancy, capitalization, home value appreciation and job growth rates, changes in rental prices, and the median number of days properties have been on the market to determine which U.S. metros will give investors the highest returns on rental investments. Click here to learn more about the Rental Ranking metrics.
Should I invest in Washington, D.C. rental property?
Demand for D.C. housing is undeniably strong, and as the seat of the federal government (and therefore a draw for countless politicians, staffers, lobbyists, and miscellaneous government employees) this isn't going to reverse anytime soon.
Thinking about renting out a property in Washington, D.C.? Save time, avoid hassle and maximize your rental income by having a professional property management company operate your rental property for you. Click here to get a free quote from a local property manager or call 877-780-4510 to have the All Property Management staff get quotes for you.
All Property Management specializes in connecting rental property owners with professional property managers in communities across the United States. These property managers help set rental rates, advertise properties, screen and manage tenants, collect rent, manage vendor relationships and ensure compliance with local, state and federal housing regulations. They take the hassle and worry out of managing rental properties - all while maximizing rental property owners' rental incomes.