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More outsiders are searching for rentals in the D.C. area, report finds

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Most of the searchers are in the vicinity of New York City, according to HotPads

A modern apartment building in D.C., viewed from street level.
A D.C. apartment building

Should you move to Washington, D.C.? Apparently more people are asking themselves that question. A new analysis from HotPads, the rental-focused arm of the real estate company Zillow Group, says almost a third of the searches for D.C. area rental homes on its platform originate from outside the area. That’s up from just over 30 percent last year, per HotPads.

Among the dozens of U.S. metros surveyed by HotPads, people in the New York metro area are the most likely to search for D.C. region homes to rent. This could partly be because the median rent in the D.C. area is less than that in the New York area: $2,220 a month versus $2,425 a month, respectively, says HotPads. Yet, current D.C. area residents still represent more than two-thirds of the platform’s searches for rental homes in the region: 68 percent.

An arrow graph showing changes in the shares of HotPads searches by Metro area from people who do not live in those Metro areas.
Metro areas for which HotPads searches are becoming more popular among outsiders

Where outside of the region are current residents most likely to look for rentals? Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Austin all have the D.C. area as their most common search origin, HotPads data show. The median rents there are $1,775 a month, $1,135 a month, and $1,795 a month.