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1079 apartments for rent in Boston, MA

Last updated April 27 at 12:18AM
3611 Washington St
Boston, MA
Updated April 26 at 10:32PM
1 Bedroom
2 Bedrooms
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City Guide
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 Like many historic cities, these buildings often possess some features that would be considered outdated by many of today's construction standards, but are grandfathered under historic commission rules and/or practical limitations.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.

Rent Report
April 2017 Boston Rent Report

Boston rent prices increased over the last month

In Boston, rents grew by 1.9% over the past month, and prices are now 2.3% higher than last year. 1-bedrooms in Boston have a median rent of $2,790, while 2-bedrooms cost $3,300.

Boston is the most expensive city for renters

  • Cambridge: Trailing only the city of Boston, Cambridge has the 2nd highest rent prices in the metro. A 2-bedroom in Cambridge rents for $3,160, and 1-bedrooms cost $2,600. Rents in Cambridge have decreased by 0.7% in the past year, though rents grew by 0.6% over the past month.
  • Newton: Newton is the 3rd most expensive city for renters in the Boston metro. 2-bedrooms in Newton have a median rent of $3,070, while 1-beds run $2,600. Newton rents have grown by 3.3% in the past year.
  • Somerville: Median rents in Somerville are at $2,500 for 2-bedrooms and $2,200 for 1-bedrooms, the 5th highest rents in the metro. This comes after a 4.6% increase in rents over the past month.

Waltham shows the fastest-growing rents

  • Lawrence: With rents 5.4% higher than they were last year, Lawrence shows the 2nd fastest-growing rents in the metro. 1- and 2-bedrooms in Lawrence rent for $1,640 and $1,660, respectively.
  • Quincy: Quincy shows the 3rd highest year-over-year rent growth, at a 4.3% increase over last year. 2-bedrooms in Quincy have a median rent of $2,300, while 1-beds cost $2,020.
  • Lowell: Rents in Lowell have grown by 2.9% in the last year, though rent growth was flat over the past month. A 2-bedroom in Lowell rents for $1,540, and 1-bedrooms cost $1,310.

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 1 BR price Median 2 BR price M/M price change Y/Y price change
Boston $2790 $3300 1.9% 2.3%
Cambridge $2600 $3160 0.6% -0.7%
Newton $2600 $3070 1.1% 3.3%
Waltham $2200 $2630 1.0% 5.4%
Somerville $2200 $2500 4.6% 1.8%
Quincy $2020 $2300 2.4% 4.3%
Malden $1750 $2070 2.8% 3.7%
Haverhill $1450 $1680 -2.4% -2.7%
Lawrence $1640 $1660 3.6% 5.4%
Lowell $1310 $1540 0.0% 2.9%


Apartment List Rent Report data is drawn monthly from the millions of listings on our site. 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom rents are calculated as the median for units available in the specified size and time period. Price changes are calculated using a “same unit” methodology similar to the Case-Shiller “repeat sales” home prices methodology, taking the average price change for units available across both time periods.

About Rent Reports:

Apartment List’s Rent Reports cover rental pricing data in major cities, their suburbs, and their neighborhoods. We provide valuable leading indicators of rental price trends, highlight data on top cities, and identify the key facts renters should know. As always, our goal is to provide price transparency to America’s 105 million renters to help them make the best possible decisions in choosing a place to call home.

Boston Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter confidence in the economy, homeownership, and cities
Here's how Boston ranks on:
A+ Overall satisfaction
A- Safety and crime rate
A+ Jobs and career opportunities
A Recreational activities
D Affordability
D Quality of schools
C Weather
A Commute time
C State and local taxes
A+ Public transit
C- Pet-friendliness
Best Worst
Full data available when viewing on a non-mobile device.
Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released results for Boston from the second annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. The survey, which drew on responses from over 30,000 renters, provides insight into what states and cities must do to meet the needs of the 105 million American renters nationwide.

“Renters in Boston are very satisfied with their city overall,” says Andrew Woo, Director of Data Science at Apartment List. “They gave average or above average scores in many categories, though they would like to see some changes in others.”

Key findings in Boston include the following:

  • Boston renters gave their city an A+ overall for satisfaction.
  • The highest-rated categories for Boston were its local jobs and career opportunities and access to public transit, which both received an A+.
  • Other well-rated categories included safety (A-), access to parks (A), and commute times (A).
  • Some of the larger concerns for Boston renters included quality of local schools (D), and affordability/cost of living (D). Given that rents are rising especially in coastal cities, it comes as no surprise that cost of living is a major concern here.
  • Millennial renters seem to be especially satisfied with life in Boston, with this specific group giving the city an A+ overall.
  • Relative to other cities like New York (B) and Philadelphia (B), Boston did very well, and was comparable to other places like Washington DC (A-).
  • The top rated cities nationwide for renter satisfaction included Arlington, VA; Lincoln, NE; Pasadena, CA; Boston, MA; and Madison, WI. The lowest rated cities included Newark, NJ; Bronx, NY; Bridgeport, CT; Baltimore, MD; and Salinas, CA.

Renters say:

  • “I love the area that I live in which is accessible to many exciting activities and events in the Boston area. I also love that I have easy access to public transportation as well as the local highways.” —Suba C.
  • “I really feel like I'm in the center of the city of Boston - it's easy access anywhere in or around the Boston area, both walking-wise or by public transportation. I also work in the city, and my commute is so easy!” —Anon.
  • “My apartment complex is not pet-friendly. I had to jump through hoops and ladders to keep my 5-pound dog. I also think that the rent is too high for what I have.” —Isatta C.
  • “Love Boston aside from housing that is not affordable and the high taxes. I live in the Southie neighborhood, which doesn't always feel safe, and housing is way more expensive than what the neighborhood offers.” —Ashley J.