Based on the most recent rental supply figures, demand for Medford MA apartments has never been stronger. Thus far in 2022, both apartment availability and vacancy rates in Medford have remained 20-30% below their pre-pandemic levels from 2019. During COVID, rental supply levels and average rent prices remained stable in Medford compared to most Greater Boston neighborhoods.
Now as a result of the tight inventory, Medford’s average rent price is up +4.63% year-over-year and has surpassed its previous all-time high from July 2020 ($2,159) by $57. Let’s have a look at the trends moving Medford’s apartment rental market in 2022.
Rental Supply Levels in Medford MA
The current real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) in Medford, MA is 0.50%, which is an all-time low. This illustrates that current apartment occupancy in Medford is at an astounding record-high of 99.5%. Medford’s RTVR is down -57.64% year-over-year and -39.02% compared to July 2019.
Medford’s current real-time availability rate (RTAR) is 2.15%. That figure has dropped by -50.35% since July 2021 and is down by -8.97% compared to July 2019. Unlike most of Boston’s rental markets where availability is lowest during the fall, Medford’s rental market stays very active past September 1 and typically bottoms out in January and February. This is partly due to the unconventional apartment leasing cycle influenced by Tufts University. With 4 months remaining until 2023, it appears that RTAR could very well bottom out at a record low before the Tufts leasing rush is over.
As you can see from Medford’s historical rental data, both RTAR and RTVR stayed well under Boston throughout the pandemic years. When campuses closed and offices went remote, many renters fled to suburban markets in Boston. Rental supply levels surged in Boston’s Downtown and student areas, while staying level in rental markets like Medford, Quincy, and Newton. As a result, Medford’s 2022 apartment inventory is slim and average rent prices have blown past their previous all-time highs.
Average Rent Price in Medford MA
Medford’s current average rent price is at a record-high $2,216. Thus far in 2022, Medford’s average rent price for studios, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, and 4 bedroom apartments have all surpassed their previous all-time highs. Despite the record rent prices, Medford is still one of the more affordable rental markets in Greater Boston. Medford’s average rent is $496 lower than that of Boston ($2,712).
Medford Rental Market 2022 Forecast
At first glance, it appears that Medford’s rental market is primed for a breakout as we head towards 2023. Medford’s RTAR is as low as it’s ever been in July, and most of the off-campus housing demand from Tuft’s students has yet to come. This will certainly push the RTAR lower through to January as it has always done in Medford.
As a result, rent prices in Medford MA will continue to climb in the short run until 2023. Predicting beyond that becomes difficult, as a recession is imminent if not already underway and its effect on demand have yet to be seen. There are simply too many factors to contend with to predict 2023 rents including how long our horrible national energy policy stays maligned. Interest rates and a complete change in Congress in November could make predicting 2023 even harder. Inflation and a lower labor participation rate due to incoherent work and Fed policy also cloud visibility.
If we do see rent prices drop in Boston’s core neighborhoods in 2023, we believe it will be much less in Medford. If economic conditions worsen, we anticipate renter demand will shift towards Boston’s more affordable apartment rental markets, among them Medford. This will keep Medford’s rental supply lower through the recession, which will in turn keep rent prices from falling as severely, much like it did throughout COVID. We will continue to monitor these rental market trends as they develop.
Published August 1, 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.