The Inauguration Rental Gold Rush

by UrbanTurf Staff

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Inauguration rentals via Craigslist.

Those who were in the nation’s capital when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 might recall that within 24 hours of his victory, Craigslist was flooded with dozens of posts from DC residents offering to rent their homes for the president’s inauguration, hoping to make a nice profit off the historic occasion.

A three-bedroom condo in Kalorama claiming to be “a short distance from the White House” asked $10,000 for the week, double the monthly rent for a comparable property in the zip code at the time. A one-bedroom on the top floor of The Cairo near 16th and Q Streets was advertised for $7,000, almost three times the monthly rent for that area.

While the web has yet to be flooded, it took just a few days for area residents to start posting ads to rent out their homes for Obama’s second inauguration. By Thursday afternoon, eight had already been placed.

However, if it’s anything like 2008, these folks are in for a world for disappointment.

Four years ago, UrbanTurf wrote two articles on the inauguration rental rush; one shortly after Obama was elected and another a month before the inauguration to check in with those who had hoped to rent out their homes. Here is an excerpt from the second article:

A 26-year-old professional and his two roommates told UrbanTurf that their three-bedroom in the U Street Corridor has been listed for about a month at $1,500 a night and they have gotten no responses. Carol Simms listed her Capitol Hill one-bedroom on November 10th for $1,200 a night and has not gotten any bites. Local real estate agent Jen Angotti offered to help one of her clients rent out his place in Columbia Heights, but he balked at her proposed rental price of $2,000 a night, saying he could get much more, and decided to rent it on his own. So far, there have not been any takers.

In fact, in all the research that UrbanTurf did, we were only able to find one person who was successful in renting his place. The man, a lobbyist who wished to remain anonymous, rented his one-bedroom on Massachusetts Avenue and 10th Street to a business associate for three nights at $1,000 a night. He is taking the money and heading to Colorado for the week of the inauguration.

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A West End one-bedroom asking $3,000 for inauguration week.

In addition to the sky-high rental prices, there are a couple obstacles facing those hoping to make a tidy profit off the upcoming inauguration. In 2008, 4,500 hotel rooms in the DC area became available about a month and a half before the inauguration when advance room contracts were not signed. While the number will likely not be as high this time around, chances are something similar will happen.

Adding to the supply of short-term rentals, there has been a little creation called Airbnb in recent years which, in addition to hotels, will likely make it almost impossible for people to fetch rates like $2,000 for three nights and four days for this one-bedroom in Chinatown.

Despite the hurdles, we expect that the high-priced weekly rentals will only continue to pop up on Craigslist. We’ll check in with some of those looking to rent as it gets closer to January to see if they were successful.

See other articles related to: renting in dc, renting, inauguration rentals, inauguration

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_inauguration_rental_gold_rush/6269

1 Comment

  1. victoria said at 11:50 pm on Sunday November 11, 2012:

    This is a pretty stupid example. No one is looking for a $1000.00 a night place, but there are plenty looking for $300 a night places.  I offered my one bedroom vacation apt. (in a great location) for a set price - up to 4 people for up to 4 nights - and just asked for offers.  I got 27 offers (so far) ranging from 900-1300.  How about we all just be decent, hospitable AND still make a damn good chunk of money - (that essentially is windfall anyway!)

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