73 Apartments for rent in Cambridge, MA

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Last updated September 22 at 10:05PM
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City Guide
The Cambridge Life

Situated just three miles outside of Boston on the banks of the Charles River. Here are a few of the finer (and coarser) facts of life you’ll soon experience as a proud Cantabrigian (yes, that’s seriously what Cambridge folks call themselves).

  • Walkability. Cambridge is consistently ranked among the country’s most walker/biker-friendly communities. Because the city’s attractions, businesses, and residences are so densely located, it’s easy as pie to survive in Cambridge without a vehicle. Other feasible options for bumming around town include the MBTA bus system and the subway, which hauls Cantabrigians around the greater Boston area for about two bucks a pop.

  • Old school charm. Cambridge is one of America’s oldest and most historic cities, so it should come as no surprise that the city is dotted with historic homes loaded with character. These architectural gems are well-maintained, and vintage exteriors and fashionably modern interiors are pretty much standard fare for most Cambridge homesteads.

  • Culture. One cool thing about Cambridge is that the city offers a cornucopia of cultural attractions. Bookstores, museums, and galleries of all sorts line the streets.

A Bunch of Squares

No, we aren’t insulting you. We’re talking about the lay of the land in Cambridge, which is divided into several squares, which are basically neighborhood centers where various businesses, nighttime hotspots, and eateries are located. The good news is that whether you find your digs in the Harvard, Central, Inman, or Kendall Squares (or any of the others), you’ll be close to an assortment of businesses, housing units, and public transportation options.

Tips for Tenants

If you are able to find a killer move-in special, though, you might want to pounce on it quick, because it won’t be available for long. A few other things to keep in mind before signing the dotted line:

  • Scope it out. It’s possible to find some relatively cheap crash pads (for Boston’s standards, anyway) in Cambridge, and it’s not completely unheard-of to find a studio or 1BR unit for $1200 or so.

As always, best of luck, and happy hunting!

Rent Report

September 2017 Cambridge Rent Report

Welcome to the September 2017 Cambridge Rent Report. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the Cambridge rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro and nation.

Cambridge rents increase sharply over the past month

Cambridge rents have increased 1.0% over the past month, and are up moderately by 3.3% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in Cambridge stand at $1,820 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,260 for a two-bedroom. This is the sixth straight month that the city has seen rent increases after a decline in February. Cambridge's year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 3.8%, but exceeds the national average of 3.0%.

Rents rising across the Boston Metro

Throughout the past year, rent increases have been occurring not just in the city of Cambridge, but across the entire metro. Of the largest 10 cities that we have data for in the Boston metro, 9 of them have seen prices rise. Here's a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Somerville has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro, with a year-over-year increase of 8.0%. The median two-bedroom there costs $2,110, while one-bedrooms go for $1,700.
  • Over the past year, Marlborough is the only city in the metro that has seen rents fall, with a decline of 2.9%. Median two-bedrooms there cost $1,510, while one-bedrooms go for $1,200.
  • Brookline has the most expensive rents of the largest cities in the Boston metro, with a two-bedroom median of $2,630; rents decreased 0.3% over the past month but were up 4.0% over the past year.
  • Haverhill has the least expensive rents in the Boston metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,460; rents grew 0.8% over the past month and 2.3% over the past year.

Many large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to Cambridge

As rents have increased in Cambridge, large cities nationwide have seen rents grow more modestly, or in some cases, even decline. Compared to most large cities across the country, Cambridge is less affordable for renters.

  • Massachusetts as a whole has logged 3.8% year-over-year growth, while rents across other cities throughout the state have seen varying trends.
  • Cambridge's median two-bedroom rent of $2,260 is above the national average of $1,160. Nationwide, rents have grown by 3.0% over the past year compared to the 3.3% increase in Cambridge.
  • While Cambridge's rents rose over the past year, some cities nationwide saw decreases, including DC (-0.5%) and Miami (-0.4%).
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Cambridge than most large cities. For example, Philadelphia has a median 2BR rent of $1,170, where Cambridge is nearly twice 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% 2.3%
Lowell $1,240 $1,530 -1.0% 4.0%
Cambridge $1,820 $2,260 1.0% 3.3%
Quincy $1,500 $1,860 0.5% 1.9%
Somerville $1,700 $2,110 0.5% 8.0%
Framingham $1,490 $1,850 -0.1% 0.8%
Haverhill $1,180 $1,460 0.8% 2.3%
Waltham $1,710 $2,110 -0.7% 3.1%
Brookline $2,120 $2,630 -0.3% 4.0%
Marlborough $1,200 $1,510 -0.9% -2.9%

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.


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.