2023 Medford Apartment Rental Market Report
The apartment rental market in Medford, MA is on a similar trajectory as last year when apartment supply figures hit record lows. The current real-time availability rate (RTAR) for apartments in Medford, MA is -3.89% compared to late September 2022. Real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) is -11.27% year-over-year. This low inventory has pushed rent prices to all-time high levels in 2023 in Medford as a result with little relief in sight. Here are the trends driving Medford’s apartment rental market in 2023.
Rental Supply Figures Trending Low in Medford MA
The current RTAR in Medford, MA is 2.72%, down -3.89% year-over-year. Last fall, Medford’s RTAR plummeted from 3.55% on September 19, 2022 down to an all-time low of 0.87% in early December. Medford is one of the few markets in Boston that sees a small leasing rush in the fall due to Tufts University, which often follows a June 1st to May 31st leasing cycle. Rental availabilities quickly climb for a short period of time but then diminish just as fast. Expect the same leasing pattern to push RTAR downward for the remainder of the year as well. The only question will be whether or not RTAR will push even lower than the record low 0.87% recorded last year.
The current RTVR in Medford, MA is 0.63%, down -11.27% from last year. The vacancy rate in Medford has remained extraordinarily low throughout the last year, not surpassing 1% since early September 2022. In the years prior to COVID, RTVR would typically spike to 2-3% in Medford. Things have changed dramatically since then, with apartment vacancies remaining below 1% throughout all of 2023.
Demand for Medford Apartments On The Rise
Apartment data in Medford, MA indicates that rental demand has grown over the past year. Another indication is median days on market.. When apartments become available, they stay on the market for a median of 17 days in Medford. That figure is down -5 days or -22.72% compared to late September last year.
Medford has historically been one of the more affordable suburbs to rent an apartment close to Boston. Rent prices have been $500-$1000 cheaper in Medford than some of Boston’s premium neighborhoods while still offering residents close access to the city. As rent prices have soared in Boston’s core neighborhoods, Medford has likely attracted more renters than in years past thanks to its relative affordability.
Still, this surge in demand has caused rent prices to rise over the last 18 months.
Record High Rent Prices in Medford, MA
The current average rent price in Medford, MA is $2,566, a sharp +12.51% increase since last year. Earlier this month, average rent peaked at $2,571 in Medford, which was an all-time high at the time. Despite record high rents, Medford’s average rent price is still a considerable $574 or -18.28% cheaper than Boston’s average rent price, offering renters a reprieve from the expensive cost of apartments in the city.
Medford Apartment Rental Market Forecast 2023
With low apartment turnover and numerous tenants renewing their leases the data would suggest that prices could climb. Labor, energy and material costs have gone up faster and higher than rent prices over the past two years. With gasoline prices now soaring again, this will most likely put upward pressure on costs. Higher fuel prices also get factored into new construction and development and that will most likely signal even lower new starts of housing production going into 2024. With apartment supply trending below last year’s levels, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where rents subside in Medford unless massive job layoffs start to occur.
The strong demand for apartments near Tufts University will push apartment supply even lower as we head towards 2024, but we may not hit the all-time RTAR and RTVR record lows in Medford as it did in 2022. Boston’s rental supply figures are up by considerable margins compared to a year ago, leading us to believe that Medford will follow a similar trend when rental demand dies down in January.
Overall apartment supply figures are exceptionally low in both Medford and throughout Greater Boston as a whole. The best way to combat soaring rent prices in these areas is to increase the supply of apartment units available to renters. Medford is one of the few areas in Greater Boston with a considerable amount of developable land. Medford can and should play a pivotal role in easing these low supply numbers if we can get new housing developments to break ground. We will continue to monitor these trends as they develop.