Washington, DC currently ranks as the fifth most expensive city for renters in the US, according to the August 2016 National Apartment List data, at $3,140 a month for a two bedroom and $2,050 for a one bedroom. A new study conducted by RadPad went a little deeper than just median prices to find out which DC residents were paying the highest percentage of their income on rent.
RadPad, a photo-based rental search app, analyzed active one-bedroom listings across DC ZIP codes on their site to determine a median one-bedroom apartment price for each ZIP code. By looking at 2015 Census data, it came up with median household income for the same ZIP codes. Lastly, they calculated what percentage of monthly take home pay — after taxes as a single filer — residents in each ZIP codes shelled out on rent.
The ZIP codes and neighborhoods that constitute the east side of DC had the highest percentage of take home pay spent on rent, most noticeably Park View, Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant, which make up the 20010 ZIP code.
Renters in the 20010 region put 62 percent of their take home pay toward rent. On RadPad, one-bedrooms in this area list for the median price of $2,356, and renters earned $3,812 take home per month.
Congress Heights and Washington Highlands, which make up the 20032 ZIP code, had the lowest median household income of the areas that RadPad studied at $34,060. And even though one-bedroom rent in this area is only $1,116 per month, the third cheapest one-bedroom rent of any ZIP code, renters are still spending nearly 53 percent of their after tax income on rent.
Similarly, renters in downtown DC and Logan Circle, which make up the 20005 ZIP code, also doled out 53 percent of their take home pay on rent. It is also the most expensive ZIP code for renters in DC, with a one-bedroom renting for $2,386 per month on average. Renters here earned an average of $4,541 per month.
Only three ZIP codes made it below the 30 percent mark of take home income spent on rent — 20016 (29 percent), 20015 (20 percent) and 20004 (20 percent). These areas are also in the top three of ZIP codes with the highest median incomes. They were also more geographically spread out over the region than those with that saw a higher percentage, which were clustered more in the northeastern portions of DC.