Skip to content

Home Boston Real Estate Insights Boston Rental Market

Most Expensive Suburbs to Rent an Apartment in Boston

5 minute read

Over the past few decades, Greater Boston has recorded some of the nation’s fastest rent price growth in the country. Thanks to increasing enrollment at local universities and a growing population, rent prices have skyrocketed in many of metro Boston’s neighborhoods. This trend has affected the entire metropolitan area, not just the city of Boston.

Renters can find more affordable apartments in the suburbs away from the city center in some areas. However, some of Boston’s suburbs are in very high demand and are every bit as expensive as Boston proper.  In this article, we’ll have a look at the most expensive Boston suburbs to rent an apartment.

  1. Cambridge
  2. Brookline
  3. Somerville
  4. Newton
  5. Arlington
Cambridge MA Harvard

Cambridge

The average rent price in Cambridge, MA ($3,368) is the highest among suburbs alongside Brookline. Cambridge has the highest 1 bedroom and studio average rent price. Cambridge apartments rank as the second highest 2, 3 and 4 bedroom average compared to all areas outside Boston. Cambridge has a massive draw of people that want to work and live there due to the proximity of technology positions and high paying careers.

Cambridge, MA Rent Ranking
CAMBRIDGE Average Rent Price Rank
Studio Apartment $2,276 1
1 Bedroom $2,692 1
2 Bedroom $3,344 2
3 Bedroom $4,069 2
4 Bedroom $4,971 2

Cambridge sits just north of Boston across the Charles River. Home to world class educational institutions like Harvard and MIT, Cambridge holds a reputation as its own entity independent of Boston. More recently, Cambridge has been a magnet for innovation and entrepreneurship, attracting many new businesses in the across and ever growing and diversified tech economy. Residents enjoy a diverse community with plenty of green space and outdoor activities. Downton Boston is easily accessible from Cambridge on the Red Line.

Brookline MA bagel shop

Brookline

With an average rent price of $3,350, Brookline is the second most expensive suburb to rent an apartment in metro Boston. Brookline apartments are especially expensive if you want to rent larger units. It has the highest average rent price among suburbs for 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and 4 bedroom apartments. Brookline’s average rent price is $305 higher than that of the city of Boston ($3,047).

Brookline, MA Rent Ranking
BROOKLINE Average Rent Price Rank
Studio Apartment $2,116 5
1 Bedroom $2,576 2
2 Bedroom $3,373 1
3 Bedroom $4,110 1
4 Bedroom $5,294 1

Brookline is often thought of as a part of the city of Boston, but it is in fact outside of city limits. Wedged between Brighton and Jamaica Plain, its location gives residents close access to downtown areas via the Green Line. The various neighborhoods of Brookline and steep with historic Victorian architecture and beautifully maintained green spaces. Brookline also has some of the best public schools in the metro area.

Somerville MA Winter Hill Yacht Club

Somerville

Somerville is the 3rd most expensive suburb to rent an apartment in Boston with an average rent price of $2,883. Somerville apartments are nearly $500 cheaper than apartments in Cambridge and Brookline and $169 less expensive than the average rent price in the city of Boston.

Somerville, MA Rent Ranking
SOMERVILLE Average Rent Price Rank
Studio Apartment $2,126 4
1 Bedroom $2,305 3
2 Bedroom $2,859 3
3 Bedroom $3,485 4
4 Bedroom $4,387 4

Somerville is a vibrant and diverse community situated just north of Cambridge. Residents enjoy access to a variety of retail, restaurants and entertainment options near Davis Square, Union Square, Porter Square and Assembly Square. Somerville is also home to Tufts University, one of the most distinguished educational institutions in Metro Boston. Downtown Boston is easily accessible from Somerville via the Green line. People that often miss out an apartment in Cambridge will often flock to Somerville as their second choice. You can also find a generally nicer apartment for the pound for pound same price point in Somerville than Cambridge.

Welcome to Newton MA

Newton

Newton, MA has an average rent price of $2,804, which is the 4th highest average rent among Boston suburbs. Newton apartments hold the 5th and 6th highest average rent price for 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments respectively. Newton also has the 3rd highest average rent price for studios and 3 bedroom apartments outside of Boston.

Newton, MA Rent Ranking
NEWTON Average Rent Price Rank
Studio Apartment $2,133 3
1 Bedroom $2,240 5
2 Bedroom $2,685 6
3 Bedroom $3,487 3
4 Bedroom $3,783 8

Newton is situated west of Brighton and Chestnut Hill, making it a bit further from downtown Boston than the first 3 suburbs on this list. Newton has a much more suburban feel than other most other neighborhoods mentioned in this article. Newton MA has some of the best schools in Massachusetts. Residents of Newton can access Boston’s downtown neighborhoods via a 20-30 minute commute via car or public transit. People that come to rent in Newton generally only do so for a year or two before purchasing a home. Many renters like to get to know the lay of the land in Newton because it is so expansive and has many different neighborhoods.

Arlington MA aerial view

Arlington

Arlington, MA is the 5th most expensive suburb to rent an apartment in metro Boston with an average rent price of $2,754. Arlington apartments have the 5th highest rent price for 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and the 8th highest 1 bedroom price.

Arlington, MA Rent Ranking
ARLINGTON Average Rent Price Rank
Studio Apartment $1,933 7
1 Bedroom $2,102 8
2 Bedroom $2,686 6
3 Bedroom $3,474 6
4 Bedroom $3,500 12

Like Newton, Arlington MA is situated a bit further from the center of Boston. It’s located west of Medford and Somerville and offers residents a roughly 25 minute drive into downtown. Like Brookline and Newton, Arlington MA also has highly rated public schools making it a great place for renters transitioning into home ownership.

Conclusion

As you can see, the most expensive suburbs in metro Boston are not much different from the rents you are seeing in the city of Boston. The quality of living is high in these neighborhoods just as it is in the areas near downtown Boston, and residents pay a premium to enjoy these amenities. These neighborhoods are in very high demand and available listings usually do not last long as a result. Be sure to consult with the greater Boston apartment experts if you’re looking to call one of these neighborhoods home.


Demetrios Salpoglou

Demetrios Salpoglou

Published June 20, 2023

Demetrios Salpoglou is the CEO of bostonpads.com 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.

Join the Conversation