Boston apartment rents are still rising even after the pandemic gains. Boston surpassed San Francisco to become the second most expensive city in the United States, as Bostonians navigate especially low supply.
Median one-bedroom rent in Boston jumped 5.9% this month, to $3,060. Boston’s two-bedroom median is now $3,500, a 4.2% increase over last month.
These eye-popping prices shine a light on Boston’s ongoing housing crisis. Like most large cities in the country, Boston’s housing market is undersupplied—but that housing shortage is especially tough to overcome in Beantown thanks to prohibitive zoning laws that favor single-family homes. And new inventory coming online is skewed towards the luxury market, pushing median asking prices even higher.
One caveat to this trend is that Boston—with its dozens of colleges—is especially subject to seasonal patterns. So we can expect prices to soften a bit now that students have settled into their new homes and we enter what is traditionally the low season for renting across the country, according to the rental platform Zumper.
Earlier this month, National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage could reach 8.5 percent. This week it hit 7.3 percent, the highest in over two decades.
Buyers sitting tight in their rentals will continue to stoke competition and preclude a significant drop-off in rents, analysts predict.
Though the pace of annual rent growth has slowed over the past six months, the median rent in October was still 9.2 percent above where it stood this time last year.