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Ranking DC Neighborhoods By Most Affordable, Accessible


People choosing a neighborhood in which to live or invest consider many things. Two of the most important factors are usually rent and accessibility.

This scatterplot, created by George Washington University data scientist Tracy Hadden Loh for Greater Greater Washington, places the DC-area's neighborhoods on a scale of which are most expensive (Y-axis, with most expensive on top) and which are most accessible (X-axis, with most accessible on the right). 

The researcher measured accessibility using a "social equity index" that factors in transit-accessible jobs, housing supply, household income, transportation costs and public space. The "economic index" is a weighted average rent for office, retail and multifamily buildings. For-sale housing was not considered.

The neighborhoods in the top right corner, like 14th and U, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan, are in the "sweet spot," the researchers call it, because they have high rents and good accessibility. For residents, these places may have more expensive rents, but lower transportation costs make them a viable living option.

For those looking for cheap rents and walkability, the bottom right quadrant, including Silver Spring, Capitol Riverfront and Union Market, among others, would be a smart choice. The top left quadrant, with neighborhoods such as Georgetown, Capitol Hill and Tenleytown, shows places with high rents that may not be as accessible. 

Tracy will be discussing her research at an Urban Land Institute event Wednesday morning. [GGW]