While the Urban Institute’s comprehensive study on DC housing costs on Tuesday stated what most of us already know—that DC rent is damn high and getting higher—the effects of a surging residential market are felt more on the blocks with the best public transportation access. Again, this isn’t a big shock: with nearly 40 percent of DC residents relying on public transportation to get to work, it’s logical that the housing closest to Metro stations comes at a premium.
The Urban Institute’s research found that citywide, 64 percent of rental units now cost more than $1,000 per month, while 35 percent go for at least $1,500 a month. However, when apartments sit on top of train stations, the typical rent for a one-bedroom unit often approaches $2,000 a month, according to RadPad, an online apartment-hunting service that combed listings around the Metro stations with the most rental activity.
The findings aren’t that startling for a metro area in which more than 50 percent of renters spend at least 30 percent of their monthy earnings on housing, but there is a bit of sticker shock to reinforce the fact that rental costs continue to surge. RadPad’s map tops out at the Foggy Bottom-GWU station, where nearby one-bedrooms average $2,723 per month. Dupont Circle, at $2,443, and Mount Vernon Square, at $2,402, are next.
The spiking rents extend beyond the urban core, but tend to drop as the Metro lines push out. A one-bedroom near the NoMa-Gallaudet station runs $2,238; the next station up, Brookland, runs $1,551 a month.
Of course, this map is skewed from sourcing only one company’s listings—that’s possibly why there’s a $998 difference between Anacostia and Congress Heights—but it does reinforce much of what the Urban Institue found in its report and hints that the chunk of people who spend upward of 30 percent of their incomes on rent will continue to expand.
Find Benjamin Freed on Twitter at @brfreed.