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Old 04-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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General Real Estate/Rental Discussion

The Cheapest, Priciest Areas to Rent an Apartment in the Hub
Friday, April 13, 2012, by Tom Acitelli

Average asking rents for apartments in Greater Boston were up 6 percent in the first quarter of 2012 over the end of 2011, according to a new, super-specific report from our pals at The average asking per square foot, too, was up slightly. At the same time, it appears that the It neighborhoods like changing-forever South Boston and its Seaport District saw apartment rents actually decline during the three months ending March 30, while those around universities like M.I.T. and Northeastern increased slightly (in the cases of Southie and the Seaport, the average asking rents were down 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively).

Newtonville, Kendall Square and East Cambridge were the most expensive areas for renting in the first quarter by the average asking. The Theater District, Downtown Crossing and Chinatown were the most expensive by average rent per square foot. Everett, Hyde Park and Chelsea were the cheapest by average; Braintree, Newton Center and Chelsea again were the cheapest by square foot. The average asking rent in Boston proper was $2,228, $10 higher than the average for Greater Boston.

The takeaway overall: It still costs a lot to rent an apartment in the Hub and the places you'd expect cost a lot more than others. We'll have more throughout the day.

Here were the 20 most expensive Greater Boston areas for renting an apartment during the first quarter of 2012:

20. Charlestown: $2,700
19. Brookline Village: $2,734
18. Central Square: $2,735
17. Brookline Hills: $2,779
16. Cambridgeport: $2,805
15. Union Square: $2,894
14. Chinatown: $2,923
13. Teele Square: $2,964
12. Downtown Boston: $2,979
11. Seaport: $2,986
10. West Somerville: $3,027
9. Auburndale: $3,074
8. West End: $3,084
7. Boston Waterfront: $3,085
6. Financial District: $3,091
5. Theater District: $3,125
4. Downtown Crossing: $3,158
3. East Cambridge: $3,194
2. Kendall Square: $3,206
1. Newtonville: $3,272

And here were the 20 least expensive areas for renting in the first quarter:

20. Belmont: $2,034
19. South Brookline: $2,034 (tie)
18. Symphony: $2,032
17. East Boston: $2,006
16. Beaconsfield: $1,970
15. Northeastern University area: $1,963
14. Brighton: $1,945
13. Jamaica Plain: $1,942
12. Medford: $1,937
11. Fenway: $1,921
10. Kenmore: $1,907
9. Malden: $1,818
8. Roslindale: $1,816
7. West Roxbury: $1,754
6. Braintree: $1,699
5. Quincy: $1,670
4. Revere: $1,593
3. Everett: $1,572
2. Hyde Park: $1,541
1. Chelsea: $1,505

Finally, the priciest and cheapest by average rent per square foot, starting with the priciest:

20. Cambridge: $3.25
19. Longwood: $3.30
18. West End: $3.31
17. Northeastern University area: $3.38
16. Central Square: $3.42
15. Waterfront: $3.45
14. Boston proper: $3.56
13. Seaport: $3.58
12. North End: $3.58 (tie)
11. Beacon Hill: $3.59
10. East Cambridge: $3.64
9. Symphony: $3.68
8. Kendall Square: $3.68 (tie)
7. Back Bay: $3.87
6. Downtown Boston: $3.97
5. Riverside: $4.01
4. Financial District: $4.02
3. Chinatown: $4.04
2. Downtown Crossing: $4.07
1. Theater District: $4.09

And the cheapest:

20. Lower Allston: $2.18
19. Somerville: $2.18
18. West Roxbury: $2.18
17. South Brookline: $2.12
16. Kenmore: $2.10
15. Hyde Park: $2.01
14. Newton: $1.91
13. Malden: $1.89
12. Oak Square: $1.87
11. Medford: $1.86
10. Watertown: $1.86 (tie)
9. Waltham: $1.75
8. Dorchester: $1.73
7. Quincy: $1.69
6. Newtonville: $1.68
5. Everett: $1.65
4. Revere: $1.56
3. Braintree: $1.50
2. Chelsea: $1.46
1. Newton Corner: $1.39

Not many surprises here, I think.

But why is Newton Corner so cheap per sq ft??? I understand it may be a bit of a transit hole with the A-Line being chopped away years ago, but buses aren't too bad (from what I know)?

Also, Eastie's average is higher than I thought. I thought it was approx. 1700/month.
Originally Posted by choo View Post
forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
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Re: General Real Estate/Rental Discussion

How the hell is Malden more expensive than Roslindale?
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #3
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Re: General Real Estate/Rental Discussion

I'm a little dubious on these (makes me wonder what the metric is):
15. Union Square: $2,894
13. Teele Square: $2,964
10. West Somerville: $3,027
3. East Cambridge: $3,194
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:57 AM   #4
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Re: General Real Estate/Rental Discussion

Originally Posted by underground View Post
I'm a little dubious on these (makes me wonder what the metric is):
15. Union Square: $2,894
13. Teele Square: $2,964
10. West Somerville: $3,027
3. East Cambridge: $3,194
I mean, it doesn't look like they normalize per number of bedrooms. Stuff in East Cambridge, at least, looks like it's mostly 3-4 bedrooms... also there's North Point.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:17 AM   #5
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Re: General Real Estate/Rental Discussion

Ya unfortunately, this is kind of meaningless unless you normalize for things like bedrooms, bathrooms, sq. footage, and ideally, but more difficult, quality.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:46 PM   #6
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Re: General Real Estate/Rental Discussion

Sigh. It is a meaningless index. RentJuice is becoming a great resource for rental agents to put their listings - a multiple listing service for rentals. It's useful for that.

It's useless (as of now) for statistics. They do not have the entire universe of rentals in their databases. Plus, they aren't showing "rents" in those neighborhoods, they are showing what apartments are renting for. Everyone who already rents an apartment isn't included in their numbers. So, in East Cambridge, for example, the thousands of renters' rents aren't included, but the units available for rent right now in the new high-rise luxury buildings are.

I wish the media would be a little less lazy about reporting this. All it does is add noise.

Again, useful product, just not for this.
"You must really like hearing yourself talk, because you do an awful lot of it whether or not you know anything at all about the topic at hand ..."
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