Demand Drives Boston Apartment Rents to a New Peak

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor  Vacancy in the Boston multi-family market has hit its lowest level in almost a decade, pushing rental rates upward to a record $1,665 per month. Reis Inc., recently revealed that Boston-area ranks fifth on the list [...]

Vacancy in the Boston multi-family market has hit its lowest level in almost a decade, pushing rental rates upward to a record $1,665 per month. Reis Inc., recently revealed that Boston-area ranks fifth on the list of the country’s most expensive rental markets, the Boston Globe reported.

According to Reis, the vacancy rate for Boston-area apartment units decreased to a 4.4 percent in the second quarter, marking a decrease from the 6.2 percent vacancy recorded during the same period of 2010. A dearth of new development and the residential foreclosure crisis are combining to squeeze inventory. According to Barry Bluestone, dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, another factor is an influx of graduate students, which is outstripping additions to inventory.

As for sales, the Boston Globe reported that the median price for condominiums reached $487,000 in the second quarter, reflecting a 10.2 percent year-over-year increase.  Values are increasing even faster for luxury units; since the second quarter of 2010, the median price of a high-end condominium has increased 13.1 percent to $735,000, approaching the pre-downturn peak in 2008.