Sunday, February 2, 2020

Increasing Rent Hikes in Boston Could Slow Down in 2020

For years Boston rents have been highly increasing, and have presently reached a point where even $4,000 a month is hardly enough to lease a unit in the high-end Boston market.
High-end market units close to Boston, with many more expected to come online this year, currently boast monthly rents ranging from $5,000 to just over $10,000. The average rent in Greater Boston for the last quarter of 2019 was $2,349 in all apartment categories — that’s up from $2,223 the prior year and $2,117 in 2017.

It’s the fourth-highest average rent nationwide, behind New York ($3,599), San Francisco ($3,153), and San Jose ($2,630).

Market experts predict that Boston-area rents will continue to rise in 2020. However, the flood of new units set to come online this year is expected to ease the price increases. Most likely, the increase in newly constructed units will help slow rent increases in older units. 

Average rents in Greater Boston rose 4.2 percent over the course of the past year, compared with nearly 5 percent growth in 2018. Zillow anticipates a “slow, but steady increase” of 1.3 percent this year, 

Another great sign for renters is that there are more apartment listings than there were at this time last year, and it’s taking longer to rent them.

This is a drastic change from recent years, when the rental inventory, especially for midrange units, has been tight and highly competitive. Greater Boston ended the year with an average rental vacancy rate of 5 percent, slightly higher than the national average of 4.7 percent.