From today’s Herald:

The area’s vacancy rate stood at 6.3 percent last quarter, up from 6.1 percent a year ago and up from 5.8 percent in 2007, according to Reis Inc., a New York real-estate research firm.

The Reis survey also showed that monthly rental prices dipped to an average $1,613, down 2.8 percent compared to a year ago.

The Reis report showed that the Boston-area apartment glut was down slightly from the second quarter’s record 6.5 percent, but not nearly as much as industry experts had hoped. The late summer is considered the strongest period of the year for area rentals, as students return to Boston in droves and snap up apartments.

But Boston’s annual apartment-hunting frenzy simply didn’t occur this summer, data suggests.

As of yesterday, there were about 1,050 apartments listed for rent in Boston, slightly higher than in mid-August when the Herald last examined MLS Property Information Network figures.

The soft Boston rental market reflects a national trend, in which apartment vacancy rates shot up to 7.8 percent last quarter, according to Reis.

Industry observers say the biggest reasons for the apartment glut are the high jobless rates in Massachusetts and the nation, now 9.1 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively. Many people are doubling up in apartments or living with family members to save money, observers say.

Read the full story Boston Herald

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