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Market Report

Boston Multifamily Investment Forecast

2020 Outlook

Larger Projects Test Pent-Up Demand; Construction Key to Transaction Activity

Elevated homeownership costs underpin apartment demand in Boston. Healthy tenant demand, coupled with a declining construction pipeline, will support heightened multifamily performance in the metro this year. Vacancy remains one of the lowest among the major markets, creating a shortage of housing as downpayments and high mortgage costs make homeownership difficult for many. Class C vacancy, in particular, is hovering in the mid-2 percent band. Average effective rent in these units are $700 less than Class B spaces metrowide, making it difficult for many individuals to transition to newer apartments. Declining construction this year, together with the already-low vacancy rate, will make finding quality housing difficult, particularly as job growth attracts new residents and supports household formation metrowide. Some renters may look to outer-ring suburbs, where lower rents persist. Vacancy rates in these neighborhoods can typically rest below 3 percent, supporting strong rental increases.

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