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Where D.C. rents are lowering

Expect some surprises on which neighborhoods have experienced the highest year-over-year decreases

Photo via Shutterstock/Ferhat

Overall, rents across the nation’s capital are going up, and they have been for quite some time. RENTCafé looked into the year-over-year growth of Washington, D.C.’s rents in January 2018, reporting that there has been a 2.4 percent year-over-year increase, leading to the average monthly rent now totaling $2,087. With affordable housing still such an issue, a common question I hear as Editor of Curbed DC is, “Are there any neighborhoods in the city that have rents that are going down?” Thanks to Zillow, this question now has an answer.

Below, take a look at the five neighborhoods that have experienced some drops over the course of the last one to three years. To give some extra context as to where those rents once were, there are rents as far back as 2011 to add some extra context.

Where D.C. rents are lowering

Neighborhood January 2011 January 2012 January 2013 January 2014 January 2015 January 2016 January 2017
Neighborhood January 2011 January 2012 January 2013 January 2014 January 2015 January 2016 January 2017
Judiciary Square $2,599 $2,626 $2,822 $2,841 $2,825 $2,816 $2,840
NoMa $2,101 $2,626 $2,321 $2,440 $2,302 $2,312 $2,252
Wesley Heights $2,664 $2,626 $2,951 $2,956 $2,892 $2,953 $2,890
Navy Yard $2,462 $2,626 $2,750 $2,772 $2,598 $2,585 $2,541
Downtown $2,254 $2,626 $2,564 $2,529 $2,636 $2,704 $2,618
The numbers are the monthly median rents, not average rents. Data via Zillow

For a line graph showing how these rents compare, see below.

Now, let’s break these down neighborhood by neighborhood.

^ Certainly, there have not been any major changes over the last four years when it comes to Judiciary Square, but maybe that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, it is also the only neighborhood on the list that has increased year-over-year from January 2016 to January 2017, rising from a median $2,816 to $2,840. Even so, this is still less than how it was in January 2014 when the median monthly rent was $2,841.

^ Overall, NoMa has lowered in price ever since January 2014 when the monthly median rent was $2,440. This may be due to the high amount of development happening in the neighborhood, which is leading to more affordable housing being constructed. The monthly median rent recorded in January 2017, $2,252, is the lowest out of any neighborhood on this list.

^ Wesley Heights is known for its pricey, spacious mansions, but it has also been known for some time for having declining year-over-year rents. Indeed, the neighborhood has been up and down, and there haven’t been any major changes since January 2013 when the median monthly rent was $2,951, but the $2,890 median rent recorded in January 2017 is something to take notice of.

^ Is this any surprise? It should be. Typically, Downtown D.C. is known for having some of the highest rents in the city. Of course, a monthly median rent of $2,618 in January 2017 isn’t such an easy price to meet. Even so, when it comes to which neighborhood have experienced drops over the last few years, this neighborhood is one of the few where this can be seen, dropping from January 2016’s median $2,704. Hopefully, it will keep falling, but we’ll see.

^ Surprise! Navy Yard has decreased in price despite the high-end residences being built ad nauseam. According to Zillow, the prices have continuously declined since January 2014 when they peaked at a median $2,772 per month. In January 2017, they settled to $2,541 per month, making these rents the second lowest out of the neighborhoods on this list.