Why the DC Area Needs 127,000 More Apartments in the Next 13 Years

by Nena Perry-Brown

Cranes in DC. Photo: Ted Eytan.

Evidence has mounted recently of how demand for housing in the DC area has created pressure on rent and home prices. Now, a new report attempts to illustrate just how far the region is from accommodating additional households.

The region will need to construct 127,962 more rental apartments by 2030 to satisfy expected demand, according to a new study by the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association. The increased demand for new apartments is due largely to the region’s aging population, immigration and people opting (or needing) to delay purchasing homes.

This needed delivery of new rental units would average out to 9,140 new units constructed every year over the next 13 years; between 2011 and 2016, an average of 7,209 units were built annually regionwide.


In examining projected apartment demand, the study places the DC area 9th out of 50 metropolitan areas seeing demand rise. Currently, 35 percent of DC-area residents live in apartments, a share that is expected to grow as the metro area continues to have a robust economy and a high-cost housing market. Alongside demand for additional units, resources also need to be put toward preserving existing units, as 44 percent of the regional apartment stock was constructed in or before 1959.

The report defines apartments as rentals in multi-family buildings of 5 or more units. Annual data on apartment construction was provided by Axiometrics.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/why_the_dc_area_needs_127000_more_apartments_in_the_next_13_years/12677

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