Housing Complex

D.C.’s Most and Least Expensive Neighborhoods for Renters

revised rentals

We're constantly flooded with real estate information about which neighborhoods are hot, with home prices leaping by double-digit percentages over the year or even month prior. But in a city in which most people are renters, sale prices tell only part of the story. Thanks to the real estate website Trulia, we now have a better breakdown of rental prices by neighborhood—and not just per unit, but per bedroom.

The map above highlights the per-bedroom rental costs in certain high-demand neighborhoods, based on rental listings on Trulia in the past year. But because the sample size for certain neighborhoods is small—Trulia won't disclose the number of listings it uses—it gets a bit skewed, with parts of Anacostia coming out as more expensive than parts of Columbia Heights. So it's more useful to zoom out to the ZIP code level. Here are the three most expensive ZIP codes to rent in:

20037: Foggy Bottom-West End—$2,500 per bedroom
20006: Western Downtown—$2,378
20004: Eastern Downtown-Penn Quarter—$2,255

And here are the three least expensive:

20019: Benning-Deanwood-Lincoln Heights -Marshall Heights—$600
20020: Anacostia-Skyland-Hillcrest—$650
20032: Congress Heights-Bellevue-Washington Highlands—$750

Trulia's Korina Buhler says the values are rounded to the nearest dollar, and it's coincidental that the three east-of-the-Anacostia-River ZIP codes have rents that are multiples of 50. It should be noted that these figures are only for market-rate housing, so many residents are probably paying much less than this for subsidized housing, particularly in the eastern parts of the city. The actual average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in 20032, for instance, is likely lower than $1,500.

Likewise, studio apartments are counted as one-bedrooms, so in studi0-filled neighborhoods around downtown, per-bedroom rents may appear a bit higher than they really are.

Below is a map of the relative rental prices of all D.C.'s ZIP codes:

heat map

This post has been updated to include a revised map from Trulia of neighborhood rental prices.

Maps via Trulia

  • DC Chick

    If you think you can rent a home in Hillcrest for $650, I have a bridge in Manhattan I can sell to you for less than one million. That's the dumbest thing I ever saw--throwing in Anacostia, Hillcrest and Skyland and saying you can rent a home in Hillcrest for $650 because they all fall under the 20020 ZIP code. That's the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

    This is exactly how these refinance agents are pricing homes in Hillcrest for a refi by comparing them to homes on Minnesota and Alabama Avenue because they're all 20020. Have you seen the homes in Hillcrest in comparison to those on Minnesota? They're like day and night. Just another way to prevent current homeowners from getting a break in their mortgages.

  • JoeShmoe

    This looks about right. There are big differences within many of these zip codes but that's just how they do it.

    BTW, EOTR is going to develop last. Every other neighborhood in DC will develop before any of the EOTR zip codes. There is just too much stigma associated with it.

  • Jimbo

    DC Chick - you seem to have missed the part about these prices are PER BEDROOM. Also, it's fairly obvious that an average price won't reflect the finer gradients within a given zip code.

  • Eric

    Jimbo, right. Mr. Wiener declined to mention that even if these prices are per bedroom, there are economies of scale, even in real estate. A one bedroom will cost more per bedroom than a two bedroom, and so on, because the living spaces, kitchens and bathrooms all have a base rent, as well. It would have been more accurate to show prices per square foot extrapolated to, for example, a 2 bedroom apartment in each zip code.

  • K. Nice

    So what are these great parts of S.E. folks are talking about?

  • SEis4ME

    So what are these great parts of S.E. folks are talking about?

    Well starting from West to East.

    1. Eastern Market
    2. Capitol Hill
    3. Navy Yard
    4. Fairlawn
    5. Cong Heights
    6. Douglass
    7. Fort Dupont
    8. Randle Highlands
    9. Fort Davis

    Take a trip around either of those and I'm sure you can find good (not necessarily great) housing stock.

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  • Tight Lips

    I am anxious to see who moves into those apartments right off the bridge going to Minnesota Ave. Gentrification at it's finest. People will look at that transition and decide whether they want to move to SE or not.

  • Sonya Wins

    @Tight Lips - I'm interested to see how well DC Eagle does now that it's moving right off the bridge going to Minnesota Ave. It's actually going to be in a building behind the shopping center where DTLR is located. I just don't think that part of town is ready for a gay bar and some folks may see its presence as a reason to stir up trouble. But the rent is much cheaper over there than the current location on NY Ave next to Lux Lounge, so I can't blame them for the move.

  • 20011

    Eastern Market is not a neighborhood. It is Capitol Hill.

  • Used2B

    @ sonya wins aren't there anecdotes about the gays precede the gains--i.e., better everything-restaurants, safety, retail stores. if the anc & rez stay out of their own way dc eagle could finally bring long-promised economic development. (maybe the gays' presence & use of the minn metro will finally get op, dmped, & ddot to invest in the minn ave-benning rd improvement plan, especially making that corner safer for all transport modes)

  • Typical DC BS

    Used2B: Great point! Many in real estate investing have noticed this phenomenon re: research young adults/gay men's residential/commercial movements as an indicator of where the next "hot" spot will be.

  • http://www.firstbostonrealty.com Brett Derocker

    Georgetown is a beautiful place to live.

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