2024 Cambridge Apartment Rental Market Report - Boston Pads (2024)

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2024 Cambridge Apartment Rental Market Report - Boston Pads (1)

Demetrios Salpoglou

June 11, 2024

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2024 Cambridge Apartment Rental Market Report - Boston Pads (2)

Cambridge, MA is one of the largest and most expensive rental markets outside of Boston, MA. Rental demand and apartment turnover are very high in this neighborhood on account of its close proximity to many major universities in the Boston metro, namely Harvard and MIT which are both located in Cambridge.

In Cambridge, you also have a large proportion of high-tech companies that rapidly grow, mature, and consolidate or decline based on free market forces. The typical worker is often transient to Cambridge as high-tech jobs shift more quickly than traditional companies. Therefore Cambridge is a unique market that commands high rent but has a quicker rental turnover than other Greater Boston areas. As a landlord in Cambridge, you will want to stay on top of your rentals as market forces can shift on a dime and many jobs can quickly turn into remote-based positions.

In recent years, the apartment rental market in Cambridge, MA has experienced the highest rental demand on record, driving vacancy and availability to new all-time lows. Venture capital and family office money have been strategically deployed countless times with success in Cambridge which keeps pushing demand. Rent prices rose by double-digit margins in late 2022 and 2023 as a result. Rent prices are still on the rise so far in 2024, albeit at a lower rate than the previous year. Here are the dominant data trends affecting the Cambridge apartment rental market 2024.

Cambridge, MA Apartment Rental Supply Numbers

The current real-time availability rate (RTAR) for Cambridge apartments is 3.69%. That marks an +11.14% increase compared to early June 2023, when Cambridge’s rental supply was approaching an all-time low. Though apartment availability is slightly higher year-over-year, the cyclical peak in 2024 (4.11%) was -6.59% lower than its 2023 peak of 4.4%. RTAR typically peaked in the 5-6% range in the years prior to the pandemic, which illustrates that apartment demand is as high as ever in Cambridge.

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    The current real-time availability rate (RTVR) in Cambridge, MA is 1.07%. That figure is up +35.44% year-over-year. Despite being up by a one-third margin compared to last year, vacancies are still very low by historical standards. The vacancy rate spent most of the past 2 years below the 1% mark when apartment scarcity was at its highest. It will be interesting to see if the RTVR comes close to the 2% level on September 1 in Cambridge, which it had done consistently in the years prior to COVID.

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    2024 Cambridge Apartment Rental Market Report - Boston Pads (2024)

    FAQs

    Why is rent so high in Boston in 2024? ›

    With applications for the City of Boston to help with rent relief ending in 2023, with a weakened version set to launch in 2024, and few rent assistance options from the state government, many in Boston may be set to face higher rent prices amid inflation and rising food prices in the years to come.

    Is Cambridge or Boston more expensive? ›

    Cost of Living

    You will typically need to spend around $6,613 per month in Boston compared to $6,800 per month in Cambridge to maintain the same standard of living.

    Will Boston rent go down? ›

    At this moment, rent prices are not going down in Boston. They are still trending upward albeit at a slower pace than last year. Boston's average rent price is up +0.96% compared to 3 months ago, and up +3.81% compared to 6 months ago.

    Is it easy to find an apartment in Boston? ›

    Finding an apartment for rent in Boston is never easy, but doing it enough in advance will result in a smoother process and piece of mind. If you are looking into moving to Boston, check out our listings of the average rent prices in Boston by town.

    Will there be a housing recession in 2024? ›

    That being said, there are still far more buyers than sellers even with this negative first-time homebuyer news, meaning that there will not be a market crash likely. According to MCT housing market experts and other experts in the field, the likelihood of a real estate housing market crash in 2024 is low.

    How much do you need to make a year to live comfortably in Boston? ›

    A single adult needs to make about $60 an hour or $124,966 a year, according to the study put out by SmartAsset. Two working adults with two children need to pull in $319,738 a year. These salaries are all pre-tax.

    How do people afford Cambridge? ›

    There's a range of financial help available to students at Cambridge, including government student loans for tuition fees and living costs, the Cambridge Bursary Scheme, and College awards. For more information, see: Cambridge financial support. Government financial support.

    Is Cambridge Massachusetts a rich area? ›

    Cambridge is a highly educated and affluent city.

    By comparison, the Massachusetts median household income is $89,645. It's also higher than the $100,750 median for the Boston-Cambridge-Newton metro area. Additional Cambridge demographics: Median age: 30.6 (Massachusetts: 39.9)

    How much do you need to live in Cambridge, Massachusetts? ›

    Housing cost in Cambridge, MA

    The average rent price for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,014/month. According to the rent affordability calculator, this means you need to make about $10,000/month gross income with no other debts or loans. That's an average salary of $120,000/year. It's no secret that this is expensive.

    What is the outlook for the rent market in Boston? ›

    Look for rent prices to continue to steady in South Boston through 2024. We forecast rent growth figures to be in the +2-3% range this year as the market reverts back to historical norms. We expect that to be the case not just in South Boston, but several of Greater Boston's apartment rental market areas as a whole.

    What is a typical rent increase in Boston? ›

    In the past year, rent has increased by 1.4%, which averages out to $49 more per month. Market Trends Over Time. 0% Below $700/mo.

    Why is there no rent control in Boston? ›

    Rent control was repealed in 1994 via ballot initiative. At the time, only Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline had rent control measures in place. Only Cambridge had a full system in place.

    What part of Boston has the cheapest rent? ›

    • Hyde Park – Cheapest Place to Live in Boston Is a “Small Town in a Big City”
    • West End – One of the Cheapest Places to Live in Boston Near Downtown.
    • Dorchester – Diverse, Accessible, and One of the Most Affordable Boston Neighborhoods.
    • Brighton – Cheapest Place to Live in Boston for Students, Millennials & Young Families.
    Oct 31, 2023

    Can you negotiate rent prices in Boston? ›

    “Landlords tend to be malleable when they know a renter has a good rental history,” Salpoglou said. Bring references, make a solid first impression, and you may find a version of a deal after all. “There are many ways to negotiate a deal where all parties win,” Salpoglou said.

    Where is best to live in Boston? ›

    10 Best Neighborhoods In Boston
    • Back Bay. ...
    • Seaport District. ...
    • Fenway-Kenmore. ...
    • Downtown. ...
    • West end. ...
    • South End. ...
    • Commonwealth. Commonwealth Avenue is a popular street that runs through Back Bay and Fenway-Kenmore. ...
    • Shawmut. Every area of Boston, such as the West End or Downtown, has a distinct identity.
    Jan 22, 2024

    Why is renting in Boston so expensive? ›

    We're not producing enough new housing to meet demand or population growth,” Salpoglou said. “Less moving out creates less supply as well as less turnover, and prices tend to go up.”

    How much has Boston rent increased? ›

    The median rent in Boston rose by 2.0% over the course of May, and has now increased by a total of 1.8% over the past 12 months. Boston's rent growth over the past year has is similar to the state average (1.7%) and has outpaced the national average (-0.8%).

    Why are rents so high in Massachusetts? ›

    "Profit-seeking corporate investors are increasingly buying homes and hiking rents astronomically, raising the price of housing for everyone else," said Homes for All Mass. Executive Director Carolyn Chou.

    References

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