Series: City Guides

Price Guide: The Average Rent in Boston

Posted on Aug 31, 2020

Boston is bursting with culture, food, and fun to be had—and whether you’re buying or renting, it’s an incredible place to live and put down roots.

If you’re looking to move to the East coast and are curious about the average apartment rent in Boston, read on. We’ve put together a price guide along with some tips to help guide your decision and make your move that much easier.

Average 1-Bedroom Rental Price

Finding an affordable apartment in the city can, at times, seem tough for a new renter. But if you familiarize yourself with the different areas you can know what to expect in terms of Boston rent prices. Keep in mind that the average rental price might fluctuate during the different seasons and the popularity of areas may change from year to year.

Thanks to the national rental website Zumper and the Real Estate section of the Boston Globe, here is the average rent in Boston for one-bedroom apartments across each Boston neighborhood. This comprehensive guide will help you distinguish the prices between each neighborhood, so you can know what rests within your budget.

Allston

Spring 2019: $1,900

Winter 2019: $1,950

Fall 2018: $2,150

Back Bay

Spring 2019: $2,920

Winter 2019: $2,900

Fall 2018: $2,800

Bay Village

Spring 2019: $2,500

Winter 2019: $2,700

Fall 2018: $2,700

Beacon Hill

Spring 2019: $2,445

Winter 2019: $2,400

Fall 2018: $2,450

Brighton

Spring 2019: $1,950

Winter 2019: $1,850

Fall 2018: $1,800

Charlestown

Spring 2019: $2,585

Winter 2019: $2,600

Fall 2018: $2,500

Chinatown

Spring 2019: $3,210

Winter 2019: $3,000

Fall 2018: $2,910

Dorchester

Spring 2019: $1,700

Winter 2019: $1,875

Fall 2018: $1,800

Downtown Boston

Spring 2019: $3,325

Winter 2019: $3,050

Fall 2018: $3,070

East Boston

Spring 2019: $1,900

Winter 2019: $1,800

Fall 2018: $1,750

Fenway

Spring 2019: $2,400

Winter 2019: $2,450

Fall 2018: $2,350

Hyde Park

Spring 2019: $1,625

Winter 2019: $1,625

Fall 2018: $1,650

Jamaica Plain

Spring 2019: $1,950

Winter 2019: $1,850

Fall 2018: $1,900

Leather District

Spring 2019: $3,210

Winter 2019: $3,000

Fall 2018: $2,910

Longwood Medical Area

Spring 2019: $2,325

Winter 2019: $2,300

Fall 2018: $2,175

Mattapan

Spring 2019: $1,570

Winter 2019: $1,500

Fall 2018: $1,570

Mission Hill

Spring 2019: $2,100

Winter 2019: $2,100

Fall 2018: $1,900

North End

Spring 2019: $2,350

Winter 2019: $2,300

Fall 2018: $2,300

Roslindale

Spring 2019: $1,600

Winter 2019: $1,700

Fall 2018: $1,600

Roxbury

Spring 2019: $1,700

Winter 2019: $1,780

Fall 2018: $1,610

South Boston

Spring 2019: $2,840

Winter 2019: $2,800

Fall 2018: $2,900

South End

Spring 2019: $2,700

Winter 2019: $2,700

Fall 2018: $2,700

West End

Spring 2019: $3,000

Winter 2019: $2,195

Fall 2018: $2,800

West Roxbury

Spring 2019: $1,810

Winter 2019: $1,810

Fall 2018: $1,810

Breaking Down the Cost of Boston Rents

The average apartment rent in Boston is known to be pricey. In fact, the Boston region has some of the highest rents of any major metro area in America. But why?

According to Curbed Boston, there are several reasons for the hefty rental price tag. Here are a few of them.

Money to Spend

Boston is an affluent area, which means that many folks who choose to rent can spend the extra money and not feel burdened. There are, of course, lots of people in the greater Boston area who spend a sizable amount of their income on rent, even for a studio apartment. But because it’s Boston, people are willing to do so. Lots of tenants report spending 30% of their household income on their monthly rent.

Sale Price

The sale price of homes in the Boston area is also steep—one of the most expensive in the nation. What this means is that people who are thinking of buying in Boston, rent instead, because the asking price for houses and condos is too much. This is another contributing factor that increases the average rent in Boston, MA.

Colleges

Boston is home to tons of colleges and universities, which means students galore. Not all students live on campus, so they’re out and about looking for housing in a neighborhood that’s convenient to school. Because of the bounty of colleges, this is another factor that drives up the Boston rent prices as well.

Inventory and Demand

As the Curbed article notes, the Boston-area apartment construction has boomed in recent years. However, this still isn’t enough to satisfy demand. This is prevalent not only in the rental market but in the sales market, too.

Comfortable Tenants

When tenants stay put, there’s less rental inventory to go around. With fewer options for rental real estate and high Boston rent prices, people in the city tend to stay put once they find a comfortable home.

Commutes

Over the years, the commutes in and out of Boston have gotten worse. This means there are plenty of Boston-area commuters who want to live closer to the workplace. This drives up the demand (and the cost) of Boston rent prices and drives down the vacancy rate.

Tips for Renting

Although these tips might not change Boston rent prices—they’ll certainly make the process easier for any new renter.

Be Early

There are lots of potential renters out there who are concerned about the average rent in Boston, the amount of inventory, and how they’re going to find the right spot. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to go early. If you see a post on the local bulletin board at the grocery store or online that you’re interested in, it’s always a good idea to call the complex or landlord sooner rather than later.

Be Specific

Just like with buying a house, it’s always good to know what you want in a rental. This will save you the extra hassle of going from place to place or applying when you aren’t quite sure. Make a list of what’s important to you: a parking space for your car, a balcony or patio, in-unit washer and dryer, or a gym in the building. Once you narrow down what’s most important, you can focus on the apartments that are more suitable for your lifestyle and your happiness.

Calculate Affordability

A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 3 times your monthly income on rent (this is why some apartment complexes will want you to prove that you make up to 3 times of whatever the set monthly amount for rent). Another way you can go about calculating this is to divide your annual household income by 36, which will give you a number that you can reasonably afford. This is different for everyone. Some people work from home, and want to spend more, some people are saving for a downpayment, have high expenses, or prefer to keep costs super low, and choose to spend less. Whatever your plan is, sit down with a notepad, look over your monthly expenses, and see what a good average apartment rent in Boston may be for you.

Where to Search

When you’re on the hunt for a rental in Boston, there are a few trusted places to turn; one of which is the Boston Pads Database. Boston Pads listings offer the largest real-time real estate database, with over 166,000 local listings of Boston apartments and homes. If you’re looking for a long term rental or for-sale option, make sure to utilize their resources to stay updated on a real time vacancy rate. It’s easy to navigate and makes finding your perfect Boston apartment match a breeze. Plus, if you utilize their Boston apartment rental advanced search, you can select your move-in date, the number of bedrooms and baths you’re interested in, as well as the specific range of Boston rent prices you’re hoping for To ensure you’re getting what you want, you can also choose the building type, car parking, and amenities like a pool, walk-in closets, and laundry.

Additionally, if you’re looking for thoughtfully furnished homes where you can put down some temporary roots, make sure to check out our listings in the Boston Area. From modern studios to beautiful two-bedrooms, our rentals offer everything you need for a comfortable stay in the greater Boston area.

Zeus offers flexible cancellations, easy extensions, and no hidden fees, so you can book with confidence. We’re more affordable than long-term hotel stays and we maintain the highest of hygiene standards, blazing-fast WiFi, and all the perks (like premium linens and top-rated mattresses).

We know that the average apartment rent in Boston can be high—so we’re here to give you a place to stay while you search for your new home. Like the average rent in New York City, the average rent in San Francisco, or the average rent in Seattle, Boston’s average rent price seem to fluctuate daily.

But with a little bit of patience, some creativity, and hope for all the exciting things ahead, we know you’ll find the perfect spot that fits within your budget.

From all of us at Zeus, thanks for reading. We’re wishing you the best of luck as you embark on the Boston home-hunt ahead. As always, if you have any questions about our rentals or the Boston area in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always just a phone call or email away!

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