Boston rents spiked in June

by Liz Hughes

Boston rents rose sharply last month, the sixth straight month of rent increases across the city. 

Rents were up 4.4% from May and up just 1.8% year over year, according to Apartment List’s July 2021 Boston Rent Report. Rents across the city haven’t seen a decline since last December. 

Boston’s median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in June was $1,950 and $2,078 for two-bedroom units, according to the report, which also found rent growth in the city to be less than the state average of 4.6% and the 8.4% national average.

Across the Bay State rents are rising. Waltham, Lowell, Marlborough and Quincy had some of the largest year-over-year increases in rents. 

Rents in Waltham increased 7.7% year over year, the fastest-growing, according to the report. Month over month, Waltham rents were up 3.2% with median rent of $1,660 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,380 for two-bedroom apartments.

Lowell rents grew 7.7% from last year and 1.5% from the previous month. The city has the least expensive rents. The median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,170 and $1,660 for a two-bedroom unit. 

While rents in Marlborough increased 8.9% from 2020, month over month they increased just 2.4%. The median rent for a one-bedroom unit in the city was $1,760 compared to $2,240 for a two-bedroom unit. 

On the South Shore, Quincy rents rose 5.8% year over year and 2.1% from May. The median rent was $1,770 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,240 for a two-bedroom unit. 

Brookline has the most expensive rents with a $2,550 median rent for a one-bedroom apartment and $3,140 for a two-bedroom. Yet, the city’s rents fell 3.5% from last year, the biggest drop in the area, according to the report. 

For renters, Boston is a less affordable option compared to other cities across the country, from not just a rental growth standpoint but also in cost. 

Rental prices in several U.S. metros decreased over the past year while Boston’s were on the rise, including San Francisco where rates declined 10.2%, Seattle which saw a 3.9% drop and Washington, D.C. where rents fell 3.7%.

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