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Washington DC Rental Rates Rising as Students Scramble for Housing

Finding affordable housing is difficult for most renters, especially if you live in a college town. Unfortunately, rates are so high right now that many college students aren’t sure how they will afford to live near campus. That said, let’s go over rising rental rates in Washington DC and how students can find reasonable housing near campus. 


Why are Washington DC Rental Rates So High?

Rental rates are generally inflated in many areas across the US. That said, some areas are worse than others, and Washington DC rental rates are rising quickly. Compared to last year, rents have grown by around 3.1% in DC. Additionally, the average rate for a one-bedroom apartment here is $1,820. 


That said, most renters will experience higher rates in Washington DC, compared to similar towns nearby. For example, the average rent in Philadelphia for a two-bedroom rental is around $1,311. So, why are rates in Washington DC, so high? 

Inflation is the main reason for most price increases across the US. However, rents are specifically high in Washington DC, due to unusually high vacancy rates and recovery from the effects of the pandemic. In addition, in some areas of DC, landlords could not raise rents or evict tenants for non-payment during the pandemic. 

As a result, many landlords are raising the rent to compensate for lost wages. That said, DC isn’t the only area to raise rental rates. Next, we’ll go over some of the average rates for students renting in college towns throughout the US. 

Average Rental Rates for Students in College Towns

College students near Washington DC aren’t the only ones to feel the effects of rising rental prices. In fact, DC isn’t even the most expensive area for students across the US. For instance, some of the most expensive college towns and their rental rates include:


  • Stanford, CA – $4,055
  • New York, NY – $3,945
  • Cambridge, MA – $3,241
  • Princeton, NJ – $2,996
  • Los Angeles, CA – $2,678

On the other hand, some of the more affordable college towns and their average rental rates include the following: 

  • Baltimore, MD – $1,180 
  • St. Louis, MO – $1,136
  • Houston, TX – $1,282
  • New Haven, CT – $1,281
  • Philadelphia, PA – $1,311

How Can Students Find Reasonable Housing?

It’s hard to get away from high rental rates near college towns. As a result, most students suffer from inflated prices, high rental rates, and more financial stress. If you’re wondering how to navigate Washington DC rental rates and find reasonable housing, follow these steps. 

  1. Look Online First
  2. Start Saving Ahead of Time
  3. Talk to Your University
  4. Look for a Roommate
  5. Consider Off-Campus Housing

Look Online First

The quickest and simplest way to find a potential rental home is by looking online. Remember that if you’re a student moving to school, it’s best to start looking for housing early. For instance, if you don’t have to move until August, you should still begin to look online over the summer for potential rental options. 

When you’re looking online, you have a ton of resources to explore. For instance, you can search for rentals using more than one rental listing site. That way, you can see your options and find one that works with your budget. Additionally, if you need to schedule a property tour, you can schedule online with a Washington DC rental management company.


Start Saving Ahead of Time

Most college students know balancing work and school can be hard. But if you’re not making money, how will you pay for housing? Well, if you don’t have a housing plan, you’ll want to save up as much as possible before the semester starts.

For instance, you can set up an automatic transfer from your bank to your savings each month. Additionally, whenever you have extra cash, put it aside to pay for your housing. Remember, it’s important to be disciplined with saving and remember that your money is going to good use. 

Talk to Your University

Many colleges and universities keep students up to date with housing resources. So, if you cannot find housing or need assistance finding a roommate, contact your university. They may be able to help you connect with other students who need roommates or give you resources to find on-campus or off-campus housing. 

So, if you’re struggling to find housing, need more resources, or want to learn more about on-campus housing, reach out to your university. 


Look for a Roommate

Many college students can’t afford to live in a rental home without a roommate. If you’re looking for housing and can’t find anything within your budget, consider getting a roommate. Then, you’ll only pay for your portion of the rent and utilities and split the costs of household items with whoever you live with. 

Obviously, living with another person isn’t always ideal. However, finding a roommate in college can help you make new friends and become more familiar with the town and campus. 

Consider Off-Campus Housing

If you’re going to college, living on campus and near your classes seems like the most logical thing to do. However, living on campus is almost always more expensive than housing off campus. 

So, if you can commute to class daily, consider looking at off-campus housing options. On the other hand, if you don’t have a way to commute, look at what public transportation is available for you to get to campus and back each day. 

Tips for Finding College Roommates

Finding roommates in the first place isn’t always the easiest task. That said, finding roommates that you enjoy living with is even harder. However, there are a few ways to explore your options and help find a college roommate you don’t mind bunking with for the school year. 

  • Use Social Media- Social networking has taken over the internet. According to Oberlo, there will be around 4.59 billion social media users worldwide in 2022. That said, you can easily connect with others and communicate over a number of platforms. Some helpful sites for finding potential roommates include Facebook, Craigslist, and LinkedIn. finding-a-roommate
  • Find Online Forums- Additionally, you can look at online forums to find people with similar interests. Forums are essentially online message boards that allow people to interact and exchange information about any topic. 
  • Communicate with Mutual Friends- Finally, spreading the word through your friends can help you find a potential roommate. After all, not everyone is comfortable living with a complete stranger, so finding a mutual friend can help you feel more comfortable while living with someone else. 

Need Help Managing Your College Town Rentals?

If you own rentals in college towns, you know how stressful it can be to find quality tenants and maintain each unit. After all, you have to screen each tenant, prepare documentation for each rental unit, and maintain each rental periodically. With that said, you may want to consider comprehensive property management for your rentals near Washington DC. 

Our knowledgeable team at Bay Property Management Group can help ensure your rentals are well-maintained 24/7. We offer full-service management, including tenant screening, rental registration, rent collection, maintenance, and more. 

So, Contact BMG today if you need rental management in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, or Washington, DC.