Average Boston Rents Drop Quarterly for First Time in Six Years

Snowy street in Boston. MA Office of Travel and Tourism. Flickr. CC-BY-ND.

Are you asking for the right rent? It may be time to pay closer attention.

As reported by the Herald and the Boston Globe, the Reis “First Glance” report for Q4 2016 showed Boston rents suffering the largest decline of any market (1.9% decrease in asking rents over the previous quarter).

The Reis report shows that the average rent for all metro regions nation-wide was $1,308 in Q4. Boston average rent was $2,111, fifth in rank behind New York ($3,493), San Francisco ($2,932), San Jose ($2,468), and Westchester ($2,131).

Sheila Dillon, Chief of Housing and Director of Neighborhood Development, told the Globe she wanted more housing to take pressure off of existing stock.

The US census reports that metro Boston’s population increased by 8% from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015. MassLandlords couldn’t find more recent population figures.

Advice on Setting Rents

Landlords should use craigslist, zillow, or other websites to evaluate their asking rents against others. If your apartment stays vacant for a long time, you may be asking too much! Some landlords drop the rent every two weeks of vacancy until the apartment is taken.

Real estate is intensely local. A rent increase on one street might not work on another. Malden and Lowell have seen fast appreciation of rental rates, Boston not so much.

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