2023 Jamaica Plain Apartment Rental Market Report
Jamaica Plain’s apartment rental market has experienced unprecedented rental price growth over the past 18 months. Rent prices in Jamaica Plain are up +12.25% year-over-year and up +17.39% compared to May 2021. The rising rents have been fueled by a surge in demand for Jamaica Plain apartments, as many renters have been priced out of the downtown markets. Here are the main trends driving Jamaica Plain’s rental market in 2023.
Jamaica Plain Apartment Availability Cut In Half
The current real-time availability rate (RTAR) for apartments in Jamaica Plain is 2.88%. That figure is down -28.54% year-over-year and down -55.35% compared to May 2019. Overall apartment availability has been essentially cut in half in JP compared to pre-pandemic levels, indicating a huge surge in demand.
The current real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) in Jamaica Plain is 0.27%. RTVR is down -18.18% year-over-year. That figure also hit an all-time low in August of last year alongside RTAR. In mid-August 2022 when seasonal demand hit its peak, Jamaica Plain’s RTVR hit 0.06% while RTAR bottomed out at 0.22%. Both were historical lows for Jamaica Plain that haven’t been seen before. Historically speaking, JP has always had a much lower turnover ratio than many other parts of Greater Boston. Renters tend to flock to Jamaica Plain and stay in their apartments for longer durations of time. It is not uncommon to see Jamaica Plain renters re-sign leases three to four years as well as find roommates to fill anyone leaving.
Jamaica Plain Average Rent Prices
The current average rent price in Jamaica Plain is $2,687. That figure is up +12.25% year-over-year and slightly down from the all-time high of $2,742 recorded in March of this year. Despite the rapid rent price growth, prices are still -13.01% lower in Jamaica Plain compared to the city average for all Boston apartments ($3,089). The lower price also reflects to some degree the lower turnover ratio which keeps apartments more affordable due to less refresh/revamp of the units. Generally speaking, most landlords in Boston will spend about $2000.00 each time a tenant moves out and a new one moves in taking care of repairs and/or updates and/or upgrades.
The relative affordability of Jamaica Plain apartments has been a main driver in the trending demand surge. Prices have soared in many of Boston’s student dominated enclaves like Mission Hill, Fenway and Symphony. Jamaica Plain provides close proximity and easy access to these areas while giving many students relief from higher rent prices, especially for larger unit sizes. As the general trend goes; the closer your apartment resides in proximity to a major university- the higher the rental price. So for many students on a budget, an extra 8-20 minutes to get to their chosen college is worth the effort for savings.
Jamaica Plain Rental Market Forecast 2023
Based on the most recent apartment data for Jamaica Plain, we have seen rent prices dip slightly over the past 2 months. Considering how low the current RTAR and RTVR are, we don’t believe that prices will continue to drop in JP. Rental supply is just too tight to justify any forecast where prices go down. Rent prices may level off after the summer leasing rush, but we don’t see prices decreasing unless we see a massive wave of layoffs.
It’s hard to believe that RTAR and RTVR will both hit all-time lows after last August, but both metrics are down by double digit margins year-over-year so it may be a trend worth watching. Without a doubt, Jamaica Plain is in much need for an increase in rental inventory to ease price surges. One of the biggest problems facing JP is the lack of local will to get more development going in the area. There is a lot of local resistance to any new development whatsoever. Most developers avoid JP in general as it is locally known as one of the most difficult places to get projects approved.
As demand for larger units increases in JP, the city would be wise to pave a path to allow landlords to add more bedrooms to their existing units. This will help ease the apartment shortage and provide more affordable housing for everyone. While is maybe a little bit early to officially say this could be the tightest apartment market ever; all data roads point in that direction. It’s hard to argue against the data we are seeing. As always we will continue to bring you the local real estate news as it develops.