The 10 Most Unaffordable Neighborhoods in Boston


Where in Boston are housing costs the highest?


Boston has the nation’s third most expensive rental market, according to a new study by Zumper, a new tech firm that studies housing trends in the rental sphere.

With an average monthly price of $2,350 for a one-bedroom apartment, Boston’s rental costs were up 3.1 percent just from March to April, and were only behind New York ($3,100) and San Francisco ($3,460).

The Priciest of the Pricey in Boston

High housing costs are a recurring theme here in Boston’s housing market – indeed, we’ve devoted considerable attention to the topic in recent weeks – so Zumper’s overall analysis does not come as much of a surprise.

What Zumper did provide, though, was a neighborhood-by-neighborhood analysis of Boston’s housing market – one that yielded some eye-opening results.

First, here is a graph we put together of the 10 priciest neighborhoods in Boston, by median rent:


Two things immediately leap out about that graph: first, that D Street’s rental market is only $390 cheaper than Russian Hill, San Francisco’s priciest market; and second, that D Street $340 more expensive than Downtown Santa Monica, Los Angeles’ priciest market. Again, unaffordable housing in Boston is hardly news, but even by Beantown’s standards, such comparisons are striking.

And it’s not as though Boston’s marketplace is letting up. Below, we’ve graphed the neighborhoods that saw the largest increase in rent from last quarter:


As with the previous graph, two trends quickly emerge upon inspection: first, that Belingham Square was, at $2,300, below Boston’s average and on the lower end of the neighborhoods Zumper analyzed, yet its 12.2 percent increase suggests that distinction may soon change; and second, that East Cambridge is already the fourth most expensive neighborhood in Boston, yet prices were still up 10 percent from last quarter.

Then again, Cambridge has seen its median home price rise 79.8 percent in the last 10 years, so such numbers are, in Boston real estate fashion, hardly surprising.

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  • Susanna Stiefel says:

    Why are neighborhoods in Cambridge included in Boston? They are separate cities. If you include Cambridge, and I suspect that there neighborhoods that are even more expensive in Cambridge than those cited, why not include Brookline too?

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