The apartment rental market in South Boston has always been an outlier compared to most of the city’s neighborhoods. While demand for apartments in most of Boston is highly seasonal, demand for South Boston apartments has historically remained high throughout the year with much less cyclical movement. That market trend held true during COVID. When Boston’s apartment availability rate hit an unprecedented 13.43% in March of 2021, South Boston’s availability rate peaked at a relatively low 4.01%.
Apartment Availability in South Boston
South Boston’s current real-time availability rate (RTAR) is 2.11%. That marks a -31.75% year-over-year change in rental availability in Southie, and a 21.29% decrease from its pre-pandemic level in late April 2019. South Boston’s RTAR peaked at 4.01% in early March 2021. That was the lowest peak RTAR of all neighborhoods in the city during the pandemic. Many Boston’s neighborhoods saw availability soar above the 10% mark for the first time in history.
Southie’s RTAR hit an all-time low in November of last year following a historic market recovery that affected nearly every neighborhood in Boston. At that point, only 0.27% of apartments in South Boston were available for rent.
South Boston Vacancy Rate
South Boston’s real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) is currently 0.79%. Vacancies are down by 31.48% year-over-year. Interestingly, South Boston’s RTVR is currently above that of Boston, which currently sits at 0.5%. This is a diversion from the historical trend, where vacancies are typically lower in Southie than the city of Boston as a whole. This is more a function of historically low RTVR in Boston rather than an unusually high vacancy rate in South Boston.
South Boston’s vacancy rate also hit an all-time low in early November of last year. At that point, the RTVR was a paltry 0.27% in Southie. This apartment shortage led to rent increases starting in late 2021 after a year and a half of price stagnation.
Average Rent Prices in Southie
South Boston’s average rent price is currently $2,982 for non-luxury apartments. In late March, that figure hit an all-time high of $2,990. The current average rent price is up 8.50% year-over-year, and South Boston ranks as the 10th most expensive neighborhood to rent an apartment in the city of Boston.
2022 South Boston Rental Market Forecast
Based on the most recent rental data in South Boston, it looks like rent prices will continue to rise throughout 2022. The busy summer leasing season is still ahead of us and demand is showing no signs of slowing down. It looks like South Boston’s average rent price will cross the $3,000 mark sooner than later.
The current shortage of affordable housing is having a profound impact on the rental market, not just in South Boston but the city as a whole. Many new development projects were stalled during COVID, and developers are now looking at increased costs of construction due to labor shortages and record inflation. This will only put more upward pressure on apartment prices throughout 2022 as prices will continue to push to new all-time highs.
Published April 25, 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.