Boston Residents Experience Rent Burden as Condo Prices Rise in Most Neighborhoods

According to recent reports, the majority of Boston residents are rent burdened. At the same time, most of the city’s neighborhoods experienced an increase in cost within their condo markets in 2016.

Report Finds Boston Tenants are Rent Burdened

According to a recent report, 50.9 percent of Boston-area tenants pay at least 30 percent of their income toward rent. This is not much higher than the national average of 50.6 percent. Nonetheless, experts consider the 30 percent mark to be the general rule of thumb for determining whether or not a household is rent burdened.

While these statistics may make it seem like Boston is not doing too bad when compared to other cities, the reality is that rental costs in Boston are on the higher end for the country. The city has managed to keep on pace with the national average, however, because there are a lot of high earners in the area. Therefore, those with a higher income can absorb the high rental cost without it taking 30 percent or more of their income. On the other hand, Boston is doing much better than many cities in Florida, California and New York. This is particularly true when comparing to Miami, where more than 63 percent of residents are rent burdened.

Condo Closing Prices on the Rise in Boston Neighborhoods

The closing prices for condos in Boston neighborhoods largely went up during the first nine and a half months in 2016. In fact, here is a look at how the neighborhoods measured up when comparing 2016 to 2015.

  • Allston: 67 condos sold in 2016 compared to 140 in 2015. The average price increased from $389,738 to $428,910, representing a 10.9 percent change
  • Brighton: 200 condos sold in 2016 versus 322 in 2015. The average price increased by 9.8 percent from $385,081 to $414,172.
  • South Boston: 551 condos sold in 2016 compared to 718 in 205. The average price increased by 3.1 percent from $642,984 to $699,550
  • Charlestown: The number of condos sold decreased from 352 to 264 with the average price increasing by 2.8 percent from $668,442 to $718,166
  • West End: The number of condos sold fell from 44 to 32 with the average price increasing by 11.1 percent from $564,190 to $564,827
  • Leather: The number of condos sold was 34 for both 2015 and 2016, with the average price increasing by 8.8 percent from $704,183 to $844,697
  • Fenway: The number of condos sold fell from 128 to 95 while the average price rose by 12.2 percent from $558,412 to $509,770
  • North End: The number of condos sold fell from 92 to 72 as the average price increased by 7.5 percent from $616,729 to $633,383
  • South End: The number of condos sold dropped from 690 to 454 as the average price rose from $950,132 to $1,056,963, representing a 6.8 percent change.
  • Waterfront: The number of condos sold dropped from 152 to 123 as the average sales price rose by 2.4 percent from $1,188,913 to $1,166,979
  • Beacon Hill: The number of condos sold dropped from 193 to 125 as the average sales price increased by 11.1 percent from $818,306 to $1,001,326.
  • Back Bay: The number of condos sold fell from 193 to 125 as the average price increased by 5.3 percent from $1,504,855 to $1,678,269
  • Seaport: The number of condos sold dropped from 114 to 76 while the average price also fell by 5.4 percent from $2,436,665 to $1,807,734
  • Midtown: The number of condos sold increased from 154 to 484 as the price also increased from $1,434,092 to $1,973,546

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