Will the Class of 2009 Force Up Rents in D.C.?
Regarding the above question, I'm just going to cut to the chase:
Yes, I think this year's graduating class will force up rents in many Washington D.C. neighborhoods. Pure conjecture here, but I think neighborhoods like Columbia Heights, Petworth, eastern Capitol Hill, H Street, Eckington, Bloomingdale—you get the drift—will become more competitive either right away or in the coming months.
Of course, every year brings a new group of grads, coinciding with an exodus of post-college people leaving for grad school, new jobs, and new opportunities. But this year's different. Not only is the job market relatively strong here, but Washington D.C.—as a place to live, and occasionally run into Barack or Michelle Obama—got a lot of attention for its developing vitality.
The Examiner reported this morning on several studies indicating that our city was a "job haven" for new grads. According to the story, Richard Florida named the District the country's "best big city for recent college graduates," and "a new survey of recent grads by job search company CareerCast.com found D.C. second only to New York City."
Plus, Washington is still adjusting to the last wave of low-salary, often-not-employed young people moving here. Six months after the election, campaign staffers are still being absorbed by the housing market, finally getting off their friends couches, and finding their own rent-required homes (I've met a few).
In short, move now, or don't think about moving at all.