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2024 Cambridge Apartment Rental Market Report

10 minute read
Cambridge MA Apartment Rental Market

Cambridge, MA is one of the largest and most expensive rental markets outside of Boston, MA. Rental demand and apartment turnover are very high in this neighborhood on account of its close proximity to many major universities in the Boston metro, namely Harvard and MIT which are both located in Cambridge.

In Cambridge, you also have a large proportion of high-tech companies that rapidly grow, mature, and consolidate or decline based on free market forces. The typical worker is often transient to Cambridge as high-tech jobs shift more quickly than traditional companies. Therefore Cambridge is a unique market that commands high rent but has a quicker rental turnover than other Greater Boston areas. As a landlord in Cambridge, you will want to stay on top of your rentals as market forces can shift on a dime and many jobs can quickly turn into remote-based positions.

In recent years, the apartment rental market in Cambridge, MA has experienced the highest rental demand on record, driving vacancy and availability to new all-time lows. Venture capital and family office money have been strategically deployed countless times with success in Cambridge which keeps pushing demand. Rent prices rose by double-digit margins in late 2022 and 2023 as a result. Rent prices are still on the rise so far in 2024, albeit at a lower rate than the previous year. Here are the dominant data trends affecting the Cambridge apartment rental market 2024.

Cambridge, MA Apartment Rental Supply Numbers

The current real-time availability rate (RTAR) for Cambridge apartments is 3.69%.  That marks an +11.14% increase compared to early June 2023, when Cambridge’s rental supply was approaching an all-time low.  Though apartment availability is slightly higher year-over-year, the cyclical peak in 2024 (4.11%) was -6.59% lower than its 2023 peak of 4.4%.  RTAR typically peaked in the 5-6% range in the years prior to the pandemic, which illustrates that apartment demand is as high as ever in Cambridge.

The current real-time availability rate (RTVR) in Cambridge, MA is 1.07%.  That figure is up +35.44% year-over-year.  Despite being up by a one-third margin compared to last year, vacancies are still very low by historical standards.  The vacancy rate spent most of the past 2 years below the 1% mark when apartment scarcity was at its highest.  It will be interesting to see if the RTVR comes close to the 2% level on September 1 in Cambridge, which it had done consistently in the years prior to COVID.

Based on our most recent apartment data for Cambridge, MA, the median days on market for a rental unit is 21 days.  That is significantly lower than the median days on market for Boston apartments, which is 27 days.  As supply shortages have eased in Cambridge in 2024, so has rent price growth.  While the current supply certainly is better than it was a year ago, we’re by no means where we’d like to be in terms of availability.  However, as a result of the year-over-year increase in inventory, rent prices are up by single digit margins in 2024 compared to the double digit rent price growth we experienced in 2023.

Average Rent Prices in Cambridge, MA

The current average rent price in Cambridge, MA is $3,484.  That marks a +3.51% increase in average rent price compared to June 2023 and a +16.09% increase compared to 2 years ago.  Rent price growth for studio apartments and 1 bedroom apartments in Cambridge have risen the most over the past year, while 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom apartments have risen by much smaller margins.  Prices for Cambridge 4 bedroom and 5 bedroom apartments have actually flattened and even decreased slightly since last September.  This illustrates that rent prices may be correcting themselves for larger units after rapidly growing through 2022 and 2023.

    Cambridge Apartment Rental Market 2024 Forecast

    As we quickly approach the pivotal 9/1 leasing date, look for year-over-year rent price growth to stay in the +3-4% over the next few months.  Rent prices will likely level off through Q4 following the September leasing rush.  It appears like rent prices are starting to reach their peak especially for larger units in Cambridge.

    Cambridge is now the 3rd most expensive suburb to rent an apartment, behind Somerville and Brookline.  Cambridge held the title for most expensive suburb in 2022 after surpassing Brookline for a short period of time.  Since then, Cambridge hasn’t kept pace with the rapid rent growth in Brookline and Somerville.  It will be interesting to see if rent prices level off in these areas, which are the most sought after rental markets in Boston.  We will continue to monitor these trends as they develop.

    Demetrios Salpoglou

    Demetrios Salpoglou

    Published June 11, 2024

    Demetrios Salpoglou is the CEO of which is an information and technology based services company that provides cutting edge resources to real estate companies. Demetrios has developed over 90 real estate related websites and owns hundreds of domain names. Demetrios also owns and operates six leading real estate offices with over 120 agents.

    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.