DC Metro has 5th peak in apartment rental activity in the country

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The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the apartment rental market in the DC area, but tenants have returned, and DC is one of the main mega-hubs in allaying the concerns of fleeing tenants.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized the apartment rental market in the DC area. As financially affected tenants returned home, or doubled or tripled with friends, vacant units skyrocketed and rental rates plummeted. But the tenants have returned, and DC is one of the best mega-hubs for allaying the concerns of fleeing tenants.

Among the nation’s major metropolitan areas, the DC region ranks 5th for increase in overall rental activity in the first half of 2021, up 41% from the first six months of 2020, according to real estate data and the research firm Yardi Matrix.

DC only followed New York, San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose for an increase in rental activity in the first six months of the year.

Many of these new tenants in the DC area are young adults under the age of 25. Generation Z adult rental requests are up 92% from the same time last year.

“They’re entering the rental market en masse,” said Doug Ressler, head of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix. “They come out of homes and schools. Certainly, pricing has created a situation where “new starts” or new workers can afford fairly comfortable living conditions. “

While average asking apartment rents on the DC subway posted monthly year-over-year declines during much of the pandemic, rents began to level off this spring. But the average rental rate is still lower than last year, helping to boost rental activity here.

“They are really looking for better deals. It could be DC or it could be New York. It appears that consumer behavior is driving the migration and re-occupation of rental properties, ”Ressler said.

He said the pandemic created an opportunity for tenants to go out and try to find a better deal, whether it was a bigger apartment, a better neighborhood, or the option of finally renting out. without roommates in DC

The DC region continues to benefit from a stronger labor market than many other major regions. Yardi Matrix data shows that the strongest growth among apartment applications in the first half of 2021 was for those earning between $ 50,000 and $ 75,000, up 62% from the same period a year ago. year.

And these jobs attract people to the area.

In the first six months of 2021, 65% of apartment rental inquiries came from people outside the region.

Nationally, rental activity in the first six months of 2021 increased 13% from the previous year. People earning more than $ 100,000 were the most active, up 34% from last year. Rental requests have increased from last year’s levels in the country’s 30 largest cities.

Yardi Matrix’s report is based on 2.5 million rental inquiries in the first semesters of 2021 and 2020. Its comprehensive rental activity report covering 30 metropolitan areas in the United States is uploaded.

Below is a graph of year-over-year rental activity changes across the 20 Yardi Matrix metropolitan areas included in its report:

Rental peaks across the country. (Courtesy of Yardi Matrix)

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