2019 Back Bay Apartment Rental Market Report

As we head towards the end of 2019, the apartment rental market in Back Bay continues to set the pace for all markets in Greater Boston.  Back Bay has always been one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the city because of its prime location near downtown. In addition to proximity, the neighborhood itself is full of beautifully charming apartments and residents enjoy some of the best dining and entertainment options Boston has to offer. This is the quintessential Boston living experience, so it’s no surprise this is the most expensive neighborhood to live in.

 

Neighborhood

1BR

2BR

3BR

4BR

All Areas

$2,132

$2,518

$2,996

$3,701

City Of Boston

$2,168

$2,562

$2,997

$3,633

Outside Boston

$2,056

$2,449

$2,994

$3,820

BOSTON - BACK BAY

$2,678

$3,723

$4,488

$6,243

BOSTON - BAY VILLAGE

$2,483

$3,292

$4,319

$4,200

BOSTON - NORTH END

$2,296

$2,903

$4,023

$5,544

BOSTON - BEACON HILL

$2,338

$2,930

$4,046

$4,000

BOSTON - NORTHEASTERN/SYMPHONY

$2,635

$3,193

$3,974

$4,964

BOSTON - SOUTH END

$2,579

$3,300

$3,909

$5,747

BOSTON - FENWAY/KENMORE

$2,363

$2,932

$3,786

$4,928

BOSTON - SOUTH BOSTON

$2,138

$2,753

$3,586

$4,383

BOSTON - DOWNTOWN

$2,773

$3,775

$3,550

 

BROOKLINE

$2,279

$2,854

$3,534

$4,283

CAMBRIDGE

$2,371

$2,822

$3,477

$4,586

 

Back Bay holds the highest average price tag for 1 bedroom, 3 bedroom, and 4 bedroom apartments compared to all other areas in Greater Boston.  It has the second highest price for 2 bedroom apartments behind only Downtown.  Especially for larger units (3 & 4 bedroom apartments), Back Bay is significantly more expensive than any other neighboring areas.  

Neighborhoods that are comparable in price include other areas close to downtown like North End, Beacon Hill, Symphony, and South End.  Compared to the most expensive areas outside of Boston (Brookline & Cambridge), Back Bay is anywhere from 25-40% more expensive to rent an apartment depending on unit size. 

2019 Apartment Pricing Trends - Boston vs. Back Bay

Back Bay saw a slight decline in pricing overall in 2019.  Prices remained steady at record highs throughout the first half of 2019, and began a slight downward trend in Q3 extending into Q4.  However, as with nearly all areas of the city, we usually see prices slightly dip in the fall. Historically, this rent decline is normal after the big demand driver of the 9/1 move-in date passes by.

 

 

Average rent prices in the City of Boston as whole remained very steady throughout 2019.  We saw slight gains in the first half of the year and a slight reversal similar to that of Back Bay in the second half of the year. Again, we believe this is a temporary seasonal trend due to the fall always having less demand, less web traffic, and less inventory.

It's worth noting, the price decrease in Back Bay was more pronounced for 3 bedroom units. Smaller 2 bedroom units saw a slight increase in pricing over the course of 2019, while 1 bedroom prices saw a slight decrease.  We believe that the drop in 3 bedroom pricing was primarily due to many 3 bedroom units not getting rented on the September 1 move-in date.  Landlords are generally much more open to dropping their prices on larger units once you get past the September 1 cycle.

 

 

The City of Boston has seen a slight increase in price for smaller units, and a small drop in price for larger 3 bedroom apartments.  Overall prices are holding strong at or near record highs headed toward the end of the year. It's interesting to note that prices could be flattening out.  We will revisit this when the rental season picks up again in Q1 and Q2 2020.

 

AVERAGE RENT 1BR APARTMENT

AVERAGE RENT 2BR APARTMENT

AVERAGE RENT 3BR APARTMENT

BACK BAY

BACK BAY

BACK BAY

$2,678.00

$3,679.00

$4,488.00

-1.61%

+0.62%

-6.58%

 

AVERAGE RENT 1BR APARTMENT

AVERAGE RENT 2BR APARTMENT

AVERAGE RENT 3BR APARTMENT

BOSTON

BOSTON

BOSTON

$2,168.00

$2,561.00

$4,516.00

+2.45%

+1.79%

-1.41%

 

Total Inventory - What Does Apartment Vacancy and Availability Look Like in Back Bay?

Overall available and vacant inventory in Back Bay is slightly less than the City of Boston.  Compared to some of the other areas near Downtown away from local Universities, availability and vacancy are actually much higher in Back Bay.  Compared to near-to-downtown areas that are located close to Universities like Fenway and Symphony, apartment vacancy and availability is much lower in Back Bay.  

 

Town Neighborhood

Total Units

Total Vacant Units

Vacancy Rate

Total Available Units

Availability Rate

All Areas

71109

1233

1.73%

886

1.25%

City Of Boston

41976

745

1.77%

522

1.24%

Outside Boston

29133

488

1.68%

364

1.25%

BOSTON - BACK BAY

2747

38

1.38%

30

1.09%

BOSTON - BEACON HILL

1373

13

0.95%

4

0.29%

BOSTON - DOWNTOWN

697

7

1.00%

5

0.72%

BOSTON - FENWAY/KENMORE

3189

87

2.73%

55

1.72%

BOSTON - NORTHEASTERN/SYMPHONY

1915

37

1.93%

26

1.36%

BOSTON - SOUTH END

1867

33

1.77%

30

1.61%

BOSTON - NORTH END

1190

43

3.61%

28

2.35%

  

Apartment hunters looking to rent anywhere near downtown should leave themselves plenty of time to look.  The amount of inventory available in Boston for immediate move in is scarce at the moment and Back Bay is no exception. Out of 2,747 non luxury apartments in our Back Bay database, only 38 are currently vacant and available for immediate move in. That’s more than Beacon Hill and Downtown combined.  

In addition to those 38 units currently vacant in Back Bay, only 8 more units are set to become available in the upcoming months, which will mean limited options for those planning to move to Back Bay.  This is indicative of lower apartment turnover which we generally see in Back Bay.  Considering supply will remain low for the immediate future and demand is holding strong, conditions look favorable for prices to remain steady to upward into 2020.  

We recommend utilizing the apartment rental experts found right here on Back Bay Pads to gain an edge on your Back Bay apartment hunt.  By utilizing our Back Bay apartment search service, a local apartment search specialist will build a list of all options in Back Bay and notify you when apartments matching your criteria become available.  

If you’re a landlord in Back Bay looking to rent an apartment, our Back Bay rental experts can help you assess the overall trends we’re seeing locally.  This will help you to set optimal pricing and leasing cycles so you can maximize your return on investment for your apartment units in Back Bay.  Get started by entering your listing details on our Back Bay landlords page, and you’ll instantly be connected with our team of Back Bay apartment experts.  

Or give us a call at 617-208-2121 during normal business hours!