The Boston rental market has historically been stable. Like the rest of the world, during the spring of 2020, the rental market took a hit. Now, more than a year later the rental market is stronger than ever. For years, we have seen bidding wars throughout the city on the sales side. However, the spring and summer of 2021 was the first time we witnessed inferno level competitive bidding wars in the rental market.
Case study: 102 H Street, #1, South Boston
Listed at $3,300 | Rented at $4,050
That’s a 22.7% increase in the per month rent! Did we occasionally see 5 or even 10 percent bumps in rent year over year, yes… but a 20+% surge is shocking in our Boston rental market.
This three bedroom, one bathroom apartment had the perfect layout plus a cute outdoor space which made it exactly what a South Boston renter is looking for in today’s market.
We listed 102 H Street, #1 on 7/14/2021 and scheduled an open house for Friday night (7/19). We were immediately bombarded with calls/emails/texts but we decided not to show the unit before the scheduled open house on Friday. However, that did not stop the applications from coming in. Before anyone was able to view the property, the per month price was already up to $3,800.
We knew this unit checked many boxes, private outdoor space, great layout, open concept, large bedrooms, but the open house was crazy! We have never seen so many parties show up to see a property in Southie (on a summer Friday evening no less!). Then the bidding war really started. We had 18+ parties interested in applying; 6 parties increased their offer until the ultimate winner eked out a victory by the slimmest of margins.
A large driving factor in this high demand market is the two incoming academic classes (2020 & 2021) and many of the previous 3 to 4 Southie “classes” ended their lease during covid to get out of the city (and, maybe, to save a few dollars if they moved home with parents). In 2021, the perfect storm developed as four to five years of young 20-somethings rushed to get their share of the “Southie Experience” before it was too late.
Case study: 2 Union Park, #1, South End
Listed at $7,500 | Rented at $8,200
This grand duplex was a rare offering in the absolute most desirable South End location. The renovated 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home was across from the neighborhood’s gravitational center, the Buttery. Plus, great outdoor space is highly sought after at the moment and this one-of-a-kind home featured an expansive, multi-level private outdoor space. Add in direct access to one garage parking space and this unit was destined to garner significant attention.
We listed 2 Union Park, #1 on 7/27 at $7,500 and scheduled open houses for that weekend where we attracted multiple renters. We gave a couple of tours that week before the Open House, but still the weekend was crazy! Eventually two parties started a bidding war to have a shot at this unique spot. Either group would have been an ideal tenant (empty nesters ready to have a city home).
Boston is an exciting place to call home and maximising the potential of a rental unit right now in this area is no insignificant task. Be in touch if we can give invaluable guidance on how to list your property!