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558 Apartments for rent in Boston, MA

Read Guide >
Last updated December 16 at 9:47pm UTC
Oak Row
1235 Vfw Parkway
Boston, MA
Updated December 16 at 6:25pm UTC
1 Bedroom
$2,500
2 Bedrooms
$2,850
3 Bedrooms
$3,600
City Guide
Boston
What to Expect:

Big complexes with sprawling courtyards, dog parks, and pools? Nope; Bostonians, and even those in neighboring suburbs would scoff at that vision. It’s high rises, duplexes, triplexes, and multi-unit buildings comprising dozens of architectural styles that illuminate the Boston renter's scene. Like many historic cities, these buildings often possess some features that would be considered outdated by many of today's construction standards, but are grandfathered under historic commission rules and/or practical limitations. With such an array of rental choices, policies vary widely. Terms, deposits, pets, and inclusions are anybody's guess and can diverge even within an individual building. Ask, ask again, and then make sure you get it in writing. Bostonians are a colorful folk with a deserved reputation for…let’s just say, “business playfulness”.

Parking: One word of wisdom - fugeddaboutit. If your building includes parking, it's probably going to be for a vehicle that sees the valet more than its owner, so bully for you. The rest of Boston must jostle, cajole, sneak, and strategize for their rare parking pearls. Thus, Boston is one of the nation's premier cities in which to ditch the ride. Between the costs of renting a space, the meters and tickets if you don't, the snow removal, the traffic, and the higher than average automobile user fees (inspection, registration, and that festering little disease called excise tax - a recurring annual charge based on you car's estimated value), and an exceptional and far reaching public transportation system, get rid of it - more money for Sam Adams and steamers.

Boston's Wicked Cool Neighborhoods

Boston is not a large city geographically, but like any major metropolis, it houses a lot of hoods. Home to a (measly) forty-three colleges and universities, you can plan on your neighbors being students, really smart, or both. Using the diminutive downtown as the "hub" (that's the single word real Bostonians call their city) and in basic descending order of price (with as many exceptions as there are politicians with cocktails), here’s a renter’s look at Boston’s historic nabes:

Back Bay: Nestled between the public garden (Boston Common), The Charles, and Kenmore Square, the Back Bay is home to Newbury Street, Boston's most fashionable district. Take a leisurely two-mile stroll from the western outskirts of the Back Bay and you'll reach Brookline, the very tony, upscale "village" where you can expect to pay around $1,750 - $2,500 for a 1 BR apartment. The Fenway and The South End are subsets of the Back Bay and are exciting urban areas with just as much in the way of public transit. Expect to pay around $200 - $700 less for comparably sized apartments.

Charlestown: Possibly Boston's most insular neighborhood. Charlestown steadfastly holds on to its roots in history and is the home to Bunker Hill and The U.S.S. Constitution - the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned ship. Charlestown wasn't always the most welcoming place but has seen fierce upscale redevelopment in the past two decades. Now Charlestown is a sort of bedroom community to Downtown Boston - which happens to be just about a mile away. $1,700 - $2,400 for a 1 BR.

Beacon Hill: Home to some of Boston's most exclusive addresses. Private parks, gas lamps, wrought iron gates, tree lined streets, and meticulously maintained homes really do exude the "George Washington Slept Here" feel of America's earliest days. Think Epcot meets The American Revolution. $1,600 - $2,200 for a 1 BR.

Cambridge: Harvard, MIT and Squares galore (of both the library lounger and geometric variety – we’re referring mostly to the latter). That's how Cambridge is divided - Harvard Square, Kendall Square, Inman Square, and Central Square. The Cambridge neighborhoods are the most ethnically diverse in all of Boston, with throngs of the world’s brightest students and teachers mingling with one another in America's intellectual Hippodrome. As such, expect the widest variety of food, markets, cultural activities, and languages spoken. $1,600 - $2,200 for a 1 BR. Inman and Central squares are nominally less as they are slightly farther from their respective mega-institutes of higher learning.

South Boston: The home of the best Bawstuhn accents and many legendary and/or infamous members of Boston's political, religious and business realms, South Boston is a tough yet forgiving place. Its roots are mostly Irish, and Southie is supremely proud of that heritage. Churches, corner shops, kids playing in small parks and the iconic working class life you know from the movies – these are the pictures of Southie. These images are quickly changing though as gentrification is having it’s way with Southie at a rate more rapid than in any other Boston ‘hood. $1,500 - $2,100 for a 1 BR. 2 BR apartments here are comparatively more reasonable than most other sections of Boston.

North End: Boston's predominantly Italian neighborhood, where the language can still be heard on street corners and in the dozens upon dozens of Italian specialty shops, cafés, and restaurants. The North End is quaint and is within easy walking distance to Boston's financial district, Faneuil Hall, and City Hall. $900 - $1,100 for a studio (common in the North End), $1,400 - $1,900 for a 1 BR.

East Boston: Located close to the airport with easy access to Massachusetts' North Shore, Eastie has long been the spot where Boston's newest immigrants first settle. This part of the city has less entertainment and dining than the other ‘hoods, but boasts wonderful views of the harbor and skyline as well as some of the most affordable rents in the city. $1,000 - $1,400 for a 1 BR.

Last bits of advice

Until you learn the neighborhoods, don't talk politics, sports, or religion. Once you do, talk away, you're expected to have an opinion - as long as it's the right one.

December 2018 Boston Rent Report

Welcome to the December 2018 Boston Rent Report. Boston rents declined over the past month. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the Boston rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro, state, and nation.

View full Boston Rent Report

Rent Report
Boston

December 2018 Boston Rent Report

Welcome to the December 2018 Boston Rent Report. Boston rents declined over the past month. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the Boston rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro, state, and nation.

Boston rents declined slightly over the past month

Boston rents have declined 0.2% over the past month, but are up slightly by 1.8% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in Boston stand at $1,690 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,090 for a two-bedroom. This is the second straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in September. Boston's year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 3.0%, but exceeds the national average of 1.3%.

Rents rising across the Boston Metro

Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of Boston, but across the entire metro. Of the largest 10 cities that we have data for in the Boston metro, all of them have seen prices rise. Here's a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Newton has the most expensive rents in the Boston metro, with a two-bedroom median of $2,460; the city has also seen rent growth of 10.3% over the past year, the fastest in the metro.
  • Over the past month, Brockton has seen the biggest rent drop in the metro, with a decline of 1.0%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $1,640, while one-bedrooms go for $1,320.
  • Lowell has the least expensive rents in the Boston metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,530; rents fell 0.3% over the past month but rose 1.9% over the past year.

Other large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to Boston

As rents have increased slightly in Boston, other large cities nationwide have seen rents grow more quickly. Compared to most similar cities across the country, Boston is less affordable for renters.

  • Boston's median two-bedroom rent of $2,090 is above the national average of $1,180. Nationwide, rents have grown by 1.3% over the past year compared to the 1.8% rise in Boston.
  • While Boston's rents rose slightly over the past year, some cities nationwide saw decreases, including Baltimore (-1.2%) and Seattle (-0.4%).
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Boston than most other large cities. For example, Philadelphia has a median 2BR rent of $1,170, where Boston is more than one-and-a-half times that price.

For more information check out our national report. You can also access our full data for cities and counties across the U.S. at this link.
City Median 1BR price Median 2BR price M/M price change Y/Y price change
Boston $1,690 $2,090 -0.2% 1.8%
Lowell $1,230 $1,530 -0.3% 1.9%
Cambridge $1,810 $2,240 -0.5% 3.0%
Brockton $1,320 $1,640 -1.0% 1.7%
Quincy $1,500 $1,860 -0.3% 1.4%
Newton $1,980 $2,460 2.6% 10.3%
Lawrence $1,360 $1,690 -0.1% 1.7%
Somerville $1,690 $2,100 -0.1% 4.8%
Framingham $1,510 $1,880 -0.1% 2.1%
Haverhill $1,240 $1,530 0.4% 4.4%
See more

Methodology - Recent Updates:

Data from private listing sites, including our own, tends to skew toward luxury apartments, which introduces sample bias when estimates are calculated directly from these listings. To address these limitations, we’ve recently made major updates to our methodology, which we believe have greatly improved the accuracy and reliability of our estimates.

Read more about our new methodology below, or see a more detailed post here.

Methodology:

Apartment List is committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available. To do this, we start with reliable median rent statistics from the Census Bureau, then extrapolate them forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from our listing data. In doing so, we use a same-unit analysis similar to Case-Shiller’s approach, comparing only units that are available across both time periods to provide an accurate picture of rent growth in cities across the country.

Our approach corrects for the sample bias inherent in other private sources, producing results that are much closer to statistics published by the Census Bureau and HUD. Our methodology also allows us to construct a picture of rent growth over an extended period of time, with estimates that are updated each month.

Read more about our methodology here.

About Rent Reports:

Apartment List publishes monthly reports on rental trends for hundreds of cities across the U.S. We intend these reports to be a source of reliable information that help renters and policymakers make sound decisions, and we invest significant time and effort in gathering and analyzing rent data. Our work is covered regularly by journalists across the country.

We are continuously working to improve our methodology and data, with the goal of providing renters with the information that they need to make the best decisions.

Renter Confidence Survey

Apartment List has released Boston’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"Boston renters expressed general satisfaction with the city overall," according to Apartment List. "However, ratings varied greatly across different categories, indicating that even though renters love Bo...

View full Boston Renter Confidence Survey
Boston Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states
Here's how Boston ranks on:
A Overall satisfaction
A Safety and crime rate
A Jobs and career opportunities
A+ Recreational activities
D Affordability
C+ Quality of schools
A+ Social Life
D Weather
A- Commute time
C+ State and local taxes
A+ Public transit
B- Pet-friendliness
Best Worst
Full data available when viewing on a non-mobile device.
Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released Boston’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"Boston renters expressed general satisfaction with the city overall," according to Apartment List. "However, ratings varied greatly across different categories, indicating that even though renters love Boston, some aspects can be better."

Key findings in Boston include the following:

  • Boston renters gave their city an A overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for Boston were public transit, social life and recreational activities, which all received A+ grades.
  • The areas of concern to Boston renters are affordability and weather, which both received D grades.
  • Millennial renters are very satisfied with their city, giving it an overall grade of A-.
  • Boston did relatively well compared to other cities in New England, including New York, NY (C+), Philadelphia, PA (C+) and New Haven, CT (D).

  • The top rated cities nationwide for renter satisfaction include Scottsdale, AZ, Irvine, CA, Boulder, CO and Ann Arbor, MI. The lowest rated cities include Tallahassee, FL, Stockton, CA, Dayton, OH, Detroit, MI and Newark, NJ.

Renters say:

  • "Boston is a city with a sense of community I haven’t seen anywhere else. It takes a while to make friends with the locals because they’re such a tight group, but it’s a great place." – Jonathan M.
  • "It’s clean, safe, has great restaurants, and is accessible to all of New England." – Nicole C.
  • "Love the culture of the city. It’s very walkable and there’s lots to do. My one dislike is that the city’s too cold!" – Kieran
  • "I love the convenience to everything like bars and transportation. But the cost of rent keeps going up without apartments getting upgraded, and there’s a disappointing lack of dog-friendly places." – Shaun K.

For more information on the survey methodology and findings or to speak to one of our researchers, please contact our team at rentonomics@apartmentlist.com.