2023 East Boston Apartment Rental Market Report
East Boston is still one of the more affordable apartment rental markets in Boston despite tight inventory and steadily climbing rent prices. The current average rent price for East Boston apartments is 13.73% lower than the city-wide average rent price, providing renters with a slight bit of relief as prices soar in Boston’s core neighborhoods. Still, with each passing week prices push to a new record high in Eastie on account of a tight supply of available apartments. Here are the trends driving the East Boston apartment rental market in 2023.
Low Supply of East Boston Apartments
The current real-time availability rate (RTAR) of apartments in East Boston is 2.36%, which is close (+9.63%) to its level in July 2022. Still, apartment availability peaked earlier and lower in 2023 than it did last year. East Boston recorded a seasonal high RTAR of 3.74% in early May of this year, down -21.92% from its seasonal high of 4.79% set in late May 2022.
The current real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) in East Boston is 0.58%. That marks a 190% increase in vacancy rate compared to a year ago when the RTVR was at a super low 0.20%. Apartments vacancies have been at historic lows throughout the past year and a half. The RTVR has remained at or below 1% for most of the last 18 months in what has been an unprecedented shortage in vacant apartment inventory. That trend is not unique to East Boston, but has been prevalent in most of Boston’s neighborhoods over the last year and half. Overall, even though there is an significant increase in the vacancy rate, we do not feel it is material in any way since we are still under 1 percent. Our reasoning is that there that would be zero impacting on the reduction of any now rental pricing until we saw that number move north of 2%. Even at a 2 percent RTVR, unless it was coupled with the off market cyclical leasing cycle, would we see any type of material pricing improvement across a swath of apartments. Mostly likely we would need to see a 3% RTVR to move the needle depending on a number of factors that can change throughout the years and economic cycles.
Still, according to the most recent East Boston apartment data, median days on market for apartments is 35 days which is considerably higher than that of Boston (21). Renters will find a less competitive rental market in East Boston along with lower prices overall.
Average Rent Prices in East Boston At Record Highs
The current average rent price for East Boston apartments is $2,688. That figure is up +11.41% compared to last July, but is still considerably less than the average rent price for Boston apartments ($3,116). East Boston is especially more affordable for larger apartments (four and five bedrooms) when compared to Boston, making it a great option for roommates looking to save on renting.
East Boston Apartment Rental Market Forecast 2023
As we approach the September 1 leasing date, it’s safe to assume that rent prices will level off in East Boston in the short term. There will be the usual price reductions as last second apartments enter the market and/or poorly showing or overpriced properties languish. Rent prices nearly always improve in fall months as seasonal demand dies down. It will be interesting to see if East Boston bucks the trend due to the fact that it is cheaper than most areas. With the strong Boston jobs report last month and increasing wages; this fall in East Boston could see some rental pricing surprises. As always, we will bring you the real time data, and you can draw your own conclusions.
That being said, based on current supply figures it does not appear that East Boston’s RTAR will fall below its previous all-time low of 0.79% recorded in December of last year. As of now, apartment availability is up year-over-year albeit slightly, and supply absorption is happening at a lower rate in 2023 than it did in 2022 at this point in time.
Still, East Boston is in desperate need of new housing inventory as is the rest of Boston. As prices surge elsewhere, Eastie will continue to attract budget-conscious renters looking for a reprieve from soaring rent prices near Downtown. If East Boston is to remain affordable, it will need additional housing units to offset growing demand in the area. We will continue to report on these market trends as they develop.