62 Apartments for rent in Cambridge, MA

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Last updated December 14 at 12:22am UTC
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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

December 2017 Cambridge Rent Report

Welcome to the December 2017 Cambridge Rent Report. Cambridge rents declined over the past month. In this report, we'll evaluate trends in the Cambridge rental market, including comparisons to cities throughout the metro, state, and nation.

Cambridge rents declined over the past month

Cambridge rents have declined 1.2% over the past month, and have decreased slightly by 0.4% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in Cambridge stand at $1,760 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,180 for a two-bedroom. This is the third straight month that the city has seen rent decreases after an increase in August. Cambridge's year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 1.4%, as well as the national average of 2.7%.

Rents rising across the Boston Metro

While rent prices have decreased in Cambridge over the past year, the rest of the metro is seeing the opposite trend. Rents have risen in 8 of the largest 10 cities in the Boston metro for which we have data. Here's a look at how rents compare across some of the largest cities in the metro.

  • Brookline has seen rents fall by 1.1% over the past year, the biggest drop in the metro. It's also the most expensive city in the Boston metro with a two-bedroom median of $2,590.
  • Quincy has seen the fastest rent growth in the metro, with a year-over-year increase of 4.0%. The median two-bedroom there costs $1,840, while one-bedrooms go for $1,490.
  • Haverhill has the least expensive rents in the Boston metro, with a two-bedroom median of $1,470; rents increased 3.4% over the past year but remained flat month-over-month.

Many large cities nationwide show more affordable rents compared to Cambridge

As rents have fallen slightly in Cambridge, many large cities nationwide have seen prices increase, in some cases substantially. Compared to most large cities across the country, Cambridge is less affordable for renters.

  • Cambridge's median two-bedroom rent of $2,180 is above the national average of $1,160. Nationwide, rents have grown by 2.7% over the past year compared to the 0.4% decline in Cambridge.
  • While rents in Cambridge fell slightly over the past year, many cities nationwide saw increases, including Los Angeles (+3.8%), Seattle (+3.5%), and Baltimore (+2.6%).
  • Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Cambridge than most large cities. For example, Philadelphia has a median 2BR rent of $1,160, where Cambridge 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 $1,660 $2,060 -1.0% 1.3%
Lowell $1,210 $1,500 -0.2% 1.2%
Cambridge $1,760 $2,180 -1.2% -0.4%
Quincy $1,490 $1,840 -1.0% 4.0%
Somerville $1,610 $1,990 -2.7% 1.3%
Framingham $1,490 $1,840 -1.2% 2.6%
Haverhill $1,180 $1,470 -0.0% 3.4%
Waltham $1,620 $2,010 -2.4% 0.7%
Brookline $2,090 $2,590 -0.3% -1.1%
Medford $1,690 $2,100 -2.4% 2.1%
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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.