The apartment rental market in Charlestown, MA has undergone some changes over the past two years. Charlestown did not experience the same apartment supply disruption as most of the neighborhoods in Boston during the pandemic. While Boston’s real-time availability rate (RTAR) peaked at 13% last year, Charlestown’s RTAR recorded a much lower yearly high of 6.42%. Now, both RTAR and real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) are below the historical averages for May, and the RTVR currently sits at an all-time low of 0.44%.
Despite the relatively stable rental supply, rent prices for Charlestown apartments have dropped by a larger margin than most neighborhoods in Boston. This may present an opportunity for renters in 2022.
Charlestown MA Rental Supply Analysis
The current RTAR in Charlestown is 0.88%. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, Charlestown’s apartment availability is 44.65% lower than its level in May 2019 (1.59%). That means that the current inventory of available apartments in Charlestown has nearly been cut in half compared to the pre-COVID market. Based on the most recent Charlestown rental data, apartment availability has already peaked in 2022 and has been trending down since early April. At the current pace of supply absorption, it’s likely that apartment availability will break its all-time low of 0.49% set in March of 2019.
Charlestown’s RTVR currently sits at a record low 0.44%. Just 18 months ago, Charlestown’s vacancy rate hit a record-high of 5.29% as the city was experiencing the worst of the pandemic-induced supply glut. Since then, the rental market has rapidly recovered and now rental inventory is more scarce than it was even before COVID. RTVR typically hits its annual low in late August. With three months remaining until then, it may be possible that we see 100% occupancy in Charlestown for the first time in history.
Average Rent Prices in Charlestown MA
Charlestown’s current average rent price is $2,700. That makes Charlestown the 11th most expensive neighborhood to rent an apartment out of the 23 neighborhoods that make up Boston. Average rent prices have exceeded their all-time highs in many of Boston’s neighborhoods already in 2022. However in Charlestown, the average rent price is sitting -10.68% or $323 below its all-time high of $3,023 set in September of 2020.
So despite the seasonably low RTAR and the record-low RTVR in Charlestown, average rent price has remained mostly unchanged since November.
2022 Charlestown Rental Market Outlook
Charlestown’s apartment rental market has historically seen much less seasonal supply volatility than most areas in Boston prior to COVID. That has remained consistent throughout the pandemic, and may be even more true now. Charlestown’s current RTAR (0.88%) is 80.95% lower than Boston’s current apartment availability (4.62%).
We expect rental supply metrics to get even tighter as we head towards August. Charlestown’s rental market has historically seen high demand during the summer rental season, which took a hit during the pandemic due to remote work and remote learning. As more people return to work this year, we expect demand for summer rentals to return in full swing in2022, which will place even more demand on Charlestown’s already tight rental supply.
Despite the apartment shortage in Charlestown, the market has been slow to react with price increases. Charlestown renters who sign early in 2022 will likely find lower rent prices than they have historically despite the limited inventory. We don’t expect these prices to stay low for long, as the current apartment supply shortage will inevitably push prices north during the latter half of 2022. While it’s uncertain if Charlestown will break its previous all-time rent mark this year, it’s clear that those who put off signing a lease until later this year will be faced with higher prices and even more limited apartment inventory.
Published May 23, 2022
Demetrios has pulled together the largest apartment leasing team in the Greater Boston Area and is responsible for procuring more apartment rentals than anyone in New England – with over 130k people finding their housing through his services. Demetrios is an avid real estate developer, peak performance trainer, educator, guest lecturer and motivational speaker.