Rents Rebound Amid Boston Building Boom

The metro’s economy remains on sound footing, generating high-paying jobs at a fast rate and driving demand for upscale housing.

Boston rent evolution, click to enlarge
Boston rent evolution, click to enlarge

Fueled by a growing economy and consistent job growth, Boston remains one of the country’s most stable and reliable multifamily markets. After decelerating to 1.2 percent in spring 2017 due to heavy supply, year-over-year rent growth picked up in the second half of the year, reaching 2.3 percent in November.

Education and health services continued to lead growth, having generated 23,500 positions. Anchored by large academic institutions, health-care providers and firms involved in high-tech research and financial activities, the metro’s economy remains on sound footing, generating high-paying jobs at a fast rate and pushing up demand for upscale housing. With several large-scale developments under construction, the city also has a spate of substantial mixed-use projects clearing legal hurdles and inching closer to breaking ground. The list includes Boston Properties’ 7.6 million-square-foot Seaport Square, which recently got the green light for a denser master plan; the $1 billion Winthrop Square high-rise, reduced from 775 to 702 feet high to meet MassPort standards; and the massive MIT Kendall Square project in Cambridge, which landed rezoning approval in October.

With investors more cautious as prices keep rising, roughly $1.3 billion in assets traded in 2017 through November, marking a slight deceleration. Boston’s development boom is poised to continue: The metro has almost 13,000 units under construction, the majority of which are slated to come online in 2018.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.