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Boston Rental Market Update

Posted by Jackson Hines on February 18, 2021

The cobblestone sidewalks and streets of Beacon Hill have been much quieter recently than in years past…

With the fallout from the pandemic, universities have allowed students to take online classes remotely. Working professionals who were once renters have transitioned out of the city into single family homes and condominiums. With more and more people moving out of Boston into the suburbs, vacant apartment inventory has skyrocketed in 2020. But what happens in 2021?

As of February 18th, 2021, numerous vacant apartments on Beacon Hill are still available. The vacancy rate has been this way since September 1st 2020, the usual rental cycle date when apartments are filled with new renters. As now the 5th most expensive city in the U.S. to rent a one bedroom apartment, it is no surprise renters are fleeing the City of Boston to the suburbs. As a result, landlords have been willing to offer concessions to attract renters to stay or move back to the city.

At Crescent Realty in Beacon Hill, Landlords that we represent have offered to pay the Broker’s Fee. This allows prospective renters to put down a smaller deposit for an apartment, ultimately making it more affordable during such a difficult economic time. In addition, monthly rental rates have dropped by almost 20%, offering great incentives for renters. Although these concessions are temporary, they have lowered Crescent Realty’s vacancy rate drastically.

Now in 2021, will these current deals continue through the September 1st rental cycle? This is the ultimate question that nobody has the answer to. If working professionals and students are not inclined to move back to the city for work or school, there is a good chance rental concessions continue. But there may be an end in sight.

Boston rentals have recently seen increased prices starting in February 2021. It seems as though the rental rate has reached rock bottom, and Landlords are hopeful that renters will be flocking back to the city to new employment and university classes that require in-person interaction. Although rental prices may have slightly increased, they are nowhere near pre-pandemic rates renters were paying before.

It is too early to predict the 2021 Boston apartment rental market as of right now. Yet with great deals and incentives still going on currently, there never has been a more opportunistic time to rent an apartment in Beacon Hill. With low rental rates and owner’s paying move-in fees, Boston has truly flipped into a discounted apartment rental market, something the City has truly never seen before.

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