Tight Boston rental market makes apartment hunting more difficult

I had the opportunity this morning to do a live interview about the Boston rental market on The Morning Show over at the NECN studio in Newton.  I talked with show host Steve Aveson about Boston rental market conditions as well as some tips and advice for renters. It aired live on NECN this morning, but here’s a copy of the video from NECN’s website to watch on demand:

10 Key takeaways about the Boston rental market:

1. Boston rents are now at all time highs – Metro area wide rents average $1700 per month, and Boston downtown rents average $3000.

2. Vacancy rates are the 2nd lowest in the country (behind only San Francisco) at 4% in the Boston metro area and 2% in downtown Boston.

3. Start your Boston apartment search early – about 2 months ahead of your move date (and 3-4 months ahead if you’re planning on moving on September 1st). Determine what you can afford in rent first.

4. After doing your research, be ready to Act Fast when the right apartment hits the market. The good ones don’t last long. And acting fast can sometimes help you negotiate the rent.

5. High rents are causing many people to rethink the Rent vs. Buy debate in Boston.

6. Research Boston apartments and Boston neighborhoods online to learn the market, but work with a Realtor experienced with the rental market. A Realtor can guide you to the right apartment, help you understand the market dynamics and best timing to get a good deal, and steer you away from less reputable properties and landlords.

7. Make sure to get a Security Deposit Receipt and thoroughly fill out the Apartment Condition Statement so you aren’t charged for damages incurred before you took tenancy.

8. Get in writing whether or not utilities are included in the rent.

9. The City of Boston has a great resource called the “Good Neighbors Handbook” available on the website.

10. This Boston Real Estate Blog is a great resource full of helpful advice for renters and buyers. Subscribe to the blog if you haven’t yet for continuously updated advice.


If you’re looking for more advice on renting or buying in Boston, Michael DiMella is happy to answer your questions. Contact him now.


Michael DiMella, interviewed on NECN

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