Washington, DC, Multifamily Report – Summer 2020

While relatively well insulated for the current downturn, the metro's fundamentals recorded some softening over the past two quarters.

Washington, D.C. rent evolution, click to enlarge

Washington, D.C. rent evolution, click to enlarge

Anchored by the presence of the federal government and related industries, multifamily fundamentals in Washington, D.C., remained relatively healthy—at least when compared to other large coastal gateways. Even so, the pandemic-induced economic crisis has taken a toll on rent expansion. As of August, rents were down 0.3 percent to $1,819 on a trailing three-month basis, but remained above the $1,463 national average. Meanwhile, the metro’s occupancy in stabilized assets dropped to 94.8 percent as of July, down 80 basis points in 12 months, but still 30 basis points above the U.S. figure.


Washington D.C. sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge

Washington, D.C. sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge

The metro’s employment pool shrank by more than 270,000 positions in the 12 months ending in June, equal to an 8.0 percent decrease. In D.C. alone, more than 73,500 people filed for unemployment benefits, with the number of new claims declining in August and early September as some businesses resumed activities.

More than 4,500 units came online across metro D.C. in the first eight months of the year, with an additional 39,731 apartments underway as of August. We expect a total of 9,136 units to be completed in 2020, taking into consideration the fact that many projects are facing significant delays due to the health crisis. Considering current volatility and softening demand brought by the unfolding downturn, we expect the average rent to drop 2.4 percent in 2020.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.

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