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Washington among top U.S. cities for affluent renters, report says

City proving a fertile ground for a new breed of tenants: Those households making $150,000 and up


Washington’s notoriously expensive rental market has made the city fertile ground for what a recent report describes as a relatively new breed of American tenants: Those households making at least $150,000 a year.

Washington had around 22,600 such households as of 2017—one of the highest totals among major U.S. cities—according to real estate research and listings site RENTCafe. What’s more, affluent renters occupy an unusually high share of D.C. tenant households. From the report:

You can find a bigger share of high-income renter households in cities like Washington, D.C., or Seattle than you will in Los Angeles ... where only 7.6 percent of those who rent a home have an income above $150K. For example, 13.9 percent of Washington, D.C., renters and 12 percent of those renting in Seattle earn over $150K.

The below chart from the RENTCafe report also helps spell things out regarding affluent households vs. all others in the Washington rental market. What are you seeing? Most definitely some of this has to do with the city’s transient government-tied population as well as with the high barriers to buying a home.