Boston Rental Trends Summer 2013

looking-for-an-apartment-300x200For those looking to move September 1st, time is getting scarce to find the right place.  The major trend in Boston rentals for summer 2013 isn’t going to be much help because the number one issue leasing agents and realtors are noticing this year is very low vacancies.

At this time last year there were approximately 6,000 vacancies available.  This year, there are around 3,600 as of mid-July.  That is a massive 40% drop in available apartments from one year to the next.  The rising rent environment may have something to do with this.  For the past two years, the rental market has shown a trend of 10% rent increases per year.  With rents on the rise, tenants develop a mind-set to stay where they are.  Since it is unlikely to find a better deal elsewhere, most renters choose to renew a lease for another year and avoid the hassle and expense of moving.  It is yet to be determined whether the rising rent trend will continue into 2014.

Other trends are coming from landlords looking to entice new tenants.  Boston is seeing tenants who are willing to commit to higher rents on homes that include added amenities or flare.  Apartments decked out with extras like plasma TVs, for example, can more easily fetch a premium price.  A designated parking spot is always one of those perks that will garner a very pretty penny.

On the other hand, location, location, location!  Residents will more easily forgo the need for a parking space for a great location.  Being close to transit, shopping and entertainment will always be a major factor in choosing a new place to call home.

Some tips for finding your next Boston apartment:

  • With the low vacancy rate, now is not the time to be overly picky.
  • Create a checklist of must haves and keep it as short as possible.
  • If you need help finding the right apartment, Boston renters can find a number of internet search engines to help narrow down your choices.
  • Reach out to a realtor.  They don’t just deal with sales.
  • Make sure to find a trustworthy realtor, landlord and/or property manager.  Trust your instincts and don’t sign a deal with anyone you don’t feel comfortable with.
  • Talk to current residents and neighbors.  The current residents will know about any potential problems you should be aware of before you sign.  Don’t hesitate to ask for opinions on the building, landlord and neighborhood.
  • Get it all in writing.  If there are any amendments to be made or deposits to be paid, make sure it is all included before you sign anything.
  • Know your Renter’s Rights and make sure you’re on the lease.  Everyone who will be living in the apartment should be on the lease so that everyone is awarded their renter’s rights should problems arise.

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