When We’re Talking Rental Market…
Boston typically commands the 3rd highest rental market in the country – depending on the measure of unit size and source being quoted. There’s mixed data out there – but unfortunately we usually make the list. I bet you can name the two big ones: yes, Manhattan and San Francisco have us beat by a wide margin. And that is a good thing, because rents are already high here in Boston and have only continued to go up since 2009.
Over the last 6 months, we have seen several other cities moving up the list and overtaking us. Washington DC gave us a good run for the top 3 spot in the early spring after a big jump in rental rates, as did San Jose and Oakland earlier this summer – all jockeying for that #3 spot.
June Median Rental:
San Francisco, CA – $3,510
New York, NY – $3,190
San Jose, CA – $2,280
Oakland, CA – $2,270
Boston, MA – $2,230
Washington, DC – $2,190
Los Angeles, CA – $1,960
Miami, FL – $1,900
Honolulu, HI – $1,840
Seattle, WA – $1,740
But with those other three markets experiencing a drop of 2.3% -- 2.6% this summer and Boston holding steady, we are back in the Top 3 most expensive rental market in August – whether we like it or not.
In 2015, Boston’s rental market rose 1.2% for one-bedroom units -- below the national average and far below the 5.5% increase San Francisco saw last year. The lower rise in rental averages may be due to the strong rate of increase we experience earlier than other markets. Still, we are living in an expensive part of the country. At the beginning of 2016, the median rent for a 1 bedroom unit was $2310 and a 2 bedrooms unit in Boston was $2650 according to data from Zumper.
How do the Boston neighborhoods compare?
There’s of course a lot of diversity within Boston’s neighborhoods and based on what you are looking for -- style of apartment, age of neighborhood, close to schools or work or hospitals, etc. These graphs show average rents as pulled together by Jumpshell:
Renting in the ‘burbs.
My real estate company is just north of Boston. I focus primarily in the suburbs near where Route 93 and Route 95/128 meet – Winchester, Medford, Woburn, Burlington, Reading, and Stoneham. Typically, apartments outside of the city price far below and are most times larger and offer outdoor space.
My inventory right now is predominantly 2-3 bedroom houses, however, the average of the one bedroom apartments in inventory is $1400 and 2 bedrooms homes are $1893. You can see my current rentals here: Plunkett Property Rentals. Compared to Boston proper, these are deals and are just a short commute.
Boston may be one of the most expensive cities in the country to rent a home - but if you know Boston, its worth it.