Cambridge, January 2014, Housing


good old days  (sonya kovacic)

good old days (sonya kovacic)

Boston's median rent is the third most expensive in the country, only behind New York City and San Francisco. In 2013 the average rent was $1,772. 

The latest Greater Boston Housing Report Card from 2013, analyzes the Greater Boston housing and rental market. Here are some of their findings:

Rent keeps increasing:

Between 2009 and mid-2013, the average asking rent in Greater Boston increased by 9.1 percent while the average effective rent rose by 10 .8 percent, reflecting fewer discounts.

Supply is low:

With the rental vacancy rate in the region now at 3 .7 percent, rents are expected to continue to rise. Our own statistical analysis indicates that when the rental vacancy rate has fallen below
 5.5 percent, landlords are able to extract higher rents. Facing little inventory, renters are forced to compete for a limited number of available units. Low vacancy rates are good for landlords but anathema for renters

Rent is taking up more of household incomes: 
Homeownership costs are rising faster than homeowners’ incomes. As a result, the housing cost burden for the typical family in Greater Boston has reached an all-time high with more than half of all renter households spending more than 30 percent of their gross incomes on rent. Those paying 50 percent or more of their gross income on rent—now surpasses one-fourth (26 .4 percent) of all renter households in the region, up from 18 .4 percent in 2000. 

To sum it up: wages are stagnant, rent is increasing, and there is not enough housing. Policy now and in the future will need to address these issues.

Kendall Square/MIT is the most expensive zip code in Greater Boston.

It's tough to be a renter in Boston.