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2024 South Boston Apartment Rental Market Report

10 minute read
South Boston MA Apartment Rental market

The apartment rental market in South Boston has historically been an outlier among most of Boston’s rental markets.  It typically has very low apartment turnover, tight supply and high demand as opposed to most Boston neighborhoods that experience high turnover and fluctuating seasonal supply figures.

In 2024, Southie is one of the few Boston neighborhoods where real-time availability rate (RTAR) is actually up year-over-year.  In addition to that, the real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) spiked unusually high in September of last year.  Were South Boston Landlords out of leasing game shape and got their units too late to the market last year?  Was it possible that they wanted too high a price for their units?  Were South Boston property owners getting too cocky and feeling invincible last August?  Here are the trends affecting South Boston’s apartment rental market.

Rental Supply in South Boston

The current real-time availability rate for South Boston apartments is 2.15%.  That figure is down -40.93% compared to a year ago, when Southie’s RTAR was unusually high (3.64%).  The current RTAR is more on par with what we’ve seen historically prior to the pandemic, which was around 2% in June.  South Boston is one of the few neighborhoods where year-over-year RTAR is down.  In all of Boston, the current RTAR of 4.59% is +25.41% compared to early June 2023.

The current real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) in Southie is 0.46%, down -37.84% year-over-year.  South Boston’s RTVR did spike to 2.29% in September 2023.  This marked the second highest annual peak on record for South Boston vacancies behind 2021, when the pandemic caused the RTVR to hit a record high 3.48%.  While it’s normal for RTVR to spike in September for most of Boston’s neighborhoods, that has historically not been the case in South Boston where RTVR has always stayed below 2% in a healthy market.  South Boston has always been considered one of the most bulletproof apartment leasing markets in the entire country.  It was not uncommon to hear a few landlords mention they didn’t mind waiting until the last minute to put out their rentals. Yup, you read that correctly.  This year we are hearing a slightly different tune from some landlords saying they will get their product out earlier.  Meaning some landlords learned their mistake from last summer.  Renting apartments properly requires discipline and often times when you have landlords that have had long standing tenants they forget some basic fundamentals of getting out their units in a timely manner.  If you are a landlord looking for assistance with helping getting your leases organized and your showing process streamlined we are happy to help with that endeavor.

While last September’s spike in RTVR in Southie was eye-opening, the current supply figures illustrate that apartment demand is back in full swing this year.  According to our most recent apartment data for South Boston, the median days on market is 8 days which is very low.  Perhaps last August was just an anomaly of a confluence of renters looking earlier in South Boston and landlords coming out later than they normally do.  Perhaps the prices were too high and some developers came out with compelling units that were close to South Boston but at lower price points.  Car share ride services are fairly inexpensive and if you can save a boat load of money in rent it sometimes doesn’t hurt to be 10 minutes away.  South Boston landlords still need to make sure they are actively monitoring their pricing and surrounding local inventory because there are a ton of small landlords in the these areas and pricing can change quickly.

Average Rent Prices in South Boston

The current average rent price in South Boston is $3,681, up +1.69% compared to a year ago.  Southie’s average rent price is $411 more expensive than the city of Boston ($3,270).  Rent price growth has lagged in South Boston compared to city-wide, where the year-over-year average rent price is up +6.00%.  That is especially true of larger units, where average rent prices have stagnated in Southie since fall of last year.   Again, it would seem logical that when your neighborhood rental pricing is higher than the Boston average the consumer will look to other places that might be their second choice.  Renting properties in Boston is a never ending saga and the leasing world moves and we move with it in accordance with market conditions.

    2024 South Boston Apartment Rental Market Forecast

    Look for rent prices to continue to steady in South Boston through 2024.  We forecast rent growth figures to be in the +2-3% range this year as the market reverts back to historical norms.  We expect that to be the case not just in South Boston, but several of Greater Boston’s apartment rental market areas as a whole.

    It will be interesting to see if the vacancy rate in South Boston spikes above 2% in September.  Southie may become more attractive to student renters moving forward as the rent gap narrows between South Boston and the city-wide average.  It is worth noting that much of the excess apartment inventory of last year was gobbled up throughout Q4 2023 and the first few quarters of 2024.  It appears that the normal steady market behavior of South Boston is prevailing this year.  We will continue to monitor these trends as they develop.

    Demetrios Salpoglou

    Demetrios Salpoglou

    Published June 6, 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.