Beacon Hill Condo Rental Market 2022

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A “For Rent” sign posted in front of an apartment building on June 02, 2021 in San Francisco, California.

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Apartment rent growth and occupancy set new records in November, yet another sign that the nation’s housing market isn’t following seasonal patterns this year. Rent growth and occupancy usually cool heading into winter.

Apartment occupancy hit a new high of 97.5% in November, according to RealPage, a real estate technology platform. The rate is up roughly 250 basis points from the long-term norm of about 95% going back over the past three decades.

The annual increase in asking apartment rents for new move-in leases hit 13.9% in November. Renewal lease rent growth usually climbs more slowly than when there’s turnover in a unit’s occupant, but it has still been growing at 8% even during the later part of the year.

“The demand from renters is really strong, especially for the luxury product. As the economy has recovered we’ve done a better job in high- paying employment than we have in the lower paying jobs,” said Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage.

This is usually the time of year that landlords see lower occupancy and therefore offer incentives or cut lease prices. Demand, however, continues to outstrip supply in the rental market, as it is also in the for-sale housing market.

“The rental market is actually stronger than the for-sale market right now. The rent increases are something like I’ve never seen before in my life, so we are definitely pulling forward a lot of household formation,” said John Burns, CEO of John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

November rent prices were up 0.6% from October. While that is below the growth seen in the spring and summer months, it is notable because rent prices usually decrease in the fall months.

What’s Driving Apartment Rental Demand

Rental demand is soaring due to the very high prices in the for-sale market, which are up nearly 20% year-over-year. Also, fewer people are choosing to live with roommates. In certain markets, owner-occupant homebuyers are being pushed out by usually all-cash investors.

“With this work-from-home and the stimulus and everything else – not enough WiFi, too noisy in the house – a lot of people are living on their own or they had two roommates and now they’ve got one, and that’s been the big reason for the surge in the apartment demand,” added Burns.

Household formation had been growing steadily before the pandemic, but then dropped off abruptly when Covid-19 hit the U.S., according to Census figures. Within a few months it began to climb again and has been accelerating in the last six months.

Boston Condos/Apartments and the Bottom Line

High prices in the for-sale housing market are also presenting an opportunity for older homeowners who might want to cash out at the top of the market. They, in turn, are moving into luxury rentals, taking up more supply and keeping rents inflated.

Boston Condos for Sale & Boston Apartments for Rent 


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As we head into the heart of the Fall season, many Bostonians tend to stay inside, choosing to stay warm and dry rather than bundle up and face the cold. Yet even while our public green spaces are blanketed in white, winter still brings us opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

While the other three seasons call for longer walks filled with colorful blooms, rides in the Swan Boats, and pick-up softball games, the Fall season weather provides us distinctive pleasures. From a beautifully lit Commonwealth Avenue Mall foilage.

More than 70% of renters say they would be happy to rent a Beacon Hill apartment without seeing it in person first, if they could check it out through a 3D virtual tour.

That’s according to a survey jointly commissioned by Zumper, a rental marketplace, and Matterport, which provides 3D and virtual tour services. The survey notes that just like home buyers, renters are also taking their property search online during the coronavirus pandemic, and would benefit from having more access to modern tools that allow them to view homes and sign leases without being there in person.

While photos of an apartment are important, the virtual or video tours component is far more useful in giving prospective tenants an idea of what it actually ‘feels’ like inside.

Virtual apartment tour searches have spiked since the pandemic and consequent lockdowns begun, according to Google Trends data. More than 60% of renters say their apartment search experience has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. According to another survey by apartment listing site Abodo, some 30% of renters would prefer to see photos and floor plans delivered in a virtual manner. Another 27% said they would prefer to see prerecorded videos of units over live, personal unit tours.


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