South End’s apartment rental market peaked early in 2023. Availability for South End apartments hit its yearly high mark in February of this year and has been falling since. Considering that apartment availability typically peaks in April in the South End, it’s an ominous sign that inventory continues to struggle to keep pace with demand for apartments in Boston’s South End.
As a result, the average rent price in the South End is up by double digit margins since last year and hit an all-time high a few weeks ago in March. Here are the main trends driving South End’s apartment rental market in 2023.
Low Apartment Inventory In South End
The current real-time availability rate (RTAR) in the South End is 2.38%. South End’s RTAR peaked at 3.64% in February of this year and has since been trending downwards. That is very similar to the RTAR high of 3.62% recorded last year in the South End, only in 2022 that figure peaked in early April.
The current real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) in Boston’s South End is 0.27%. In September of last year, the South End’s RTVR’s cyclical peak failed to surpass 1% for the first time on record and has held a surprisingly low trend line ever since. While it’s normal to have a low vacancy rate in a popular market like the South End, even these figures are unprecedented.
Last year in late August, both RTAR and RTVR hit all-time lows of 0.3% and 0.05% respectively in the South End. Now with availability peaking so early and vacancy rates as low as they are, it’s entirely possible that those all-time lows will be broken again in August this year.
South End Average Rent Prices
The South End’s current average rent price is $3,722. That figure has increased by +13.44% year-over-year; to be clear, that is an increase of $428 in the average price when compared to May 1 last year. The South End’s average rent hit an all-time high of $3,728 in early March of this year and has hovered around that level since. Boston’s South End remains one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city to rent an apartment. It currently has the 3rd highest non-luxury apartment average rent price in Boston behind Downtown ($3,781) and Back Bay ($3,907).
South End Apartment Rental Market Forecast 2023
The most recent apartment data for the South End shows a trend similar to that which we saw last year. We’re seeing less turnover than we’ve seen in the years prior to the pandemic. This forebodes an even scarcer rental market as we near the 9/1 leasing date. If this doesn’t change, we could certainly see RTAR and RTVR again hit an all-time low in August of this year. This year, renters in the South End must brace themselves for even more limited choices. Those who approach the situation with a sense of urgency will be better off, and are more likely to find an apartment that meets their needs in this neighborhood.
There are other factors at play as well. A slower economy has already had a negative impact on some of the nation’s biggest housing markets outside of Boston, but that trend has yet to materialize here. The housing shortage is the main force at play keeping prices high in Boston, both for apartment rentals and homes for sale.
The only way out of the shortage is to accelerate housing construction and create a pro-development environment for builders. Last year we saw one of the lowest years for new housing units created since 2014 during a time when we’re desperate for new inventory. Rent prices are unlikely to stop climbing if this critical need is not addressed. We will continue to monitor these trends as they develop.
Published May 1, 2023
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.