The Washington rental market is competitive downtown and hot in areas such as Dupont Circle, U Street, Woodley Park, Logan Circle and Southeast, where some properties are getting more than one rental offer, according to Donna Evers of Evers & Co. Overall, however, supply is fairly even with demand.

"It's not that bad out there for apartment rentals," she said. "When we had the recession, buildings that had been planned for condominiums became rentals. There's more inventory. Downtown apartments within walking distance of restaurants and Metro are the most sought after rental properties." reported the number of homes in Washington that are owner-occupied is 22.57 percent below the national average. The number of rental properties in Washington is 30.15 percent above the national average for urban areas.

But as in other cities, the Washington rental market is not expanding because of homeowner foreclosures. The rental market was well-established before the recession and has a predictable supply of foreign workers and young adults who are not in the market to buy, Evers said.