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Cambridge now the top rental market?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis July 29, 2011 07:48 AM

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Move over Back Bay and Beacon Hill. The 1980s and 1990s were good for you, but there is a new king of the rental market across the Charles.

Asking rents in part of Cambridge are now rivaling or even topping those in Back Bay and Beacon Hill - no small feat given some of the outrageous rents some owners of downtown Boston luxury condos are now seeking.

And vacancy is arguably even tighter - Tory Row Real Estate's Arthur Horiatis pegs the Cambridge apartment vacancy rate at about 1 percent.

That's down from a still tight - but more terrestrial - 4 to 5 percent just a few years ago.

Cambridge has New Economy vibrancy. Back Bay and Beacon Hill, bastions of the financial sector, don't.

Here are a couple of plugs for the Cambridge market by a couple of unabashed partisans. For those who would rather stay in Boston, here's your chance to make the case for renting on Beacon Hill or Marlborough Street.

Don't be shy.

HatChoo wrote:

It's really all about demand vs. supply.

I am a broker and my primary area just happens to be East Cambridge. I am also a long time resident of the neighborhood so I've seen the changes over the years in term of rental price of this area. It changed a lot from 15 years ago when Binney Street was just a blank empty piece of land and now it is filling up with all these office buildings mostly in Biotech industry.

A quick example from my own experience, I recently listed a nice 2 bedrooms in one of the complexes in the area. We had 3 showings one day and ended up with everyone submitted the offer all at asking price. Can you believe multiple offers in rentals? So I am not surprised when I first saw this article. It is

East Cambridge, Kendall Square area have a lot to offer. It is Cambridge but we are right near Boston. You can walk minutes and boom, you are in a different zip code. Boston (TD Bank Garden, Beacon Hills, North End, Waterfront... all are accessible by foot. And trust me, I don't like walking that much so if I can walk anyone can.

Also East Cambridge is very close to all major highway access, close to the airport, lots of shops and restaurants, hotels and local amenities. Many of the buildings in the area offer Boston skyline views from the apartment you are renting from. You won't get to enjoy Boston Skyline views at this price range if you live in Boston (Ritz, OneCharles, Waterfront) or other parts of Cambridge such as Porter Square or Harvard Square.

Another nice thing is the parking situation. Most of the rentals in East Cambridge come with at least one off-street parking and many actually offer one garage parking space included in the rent. So no valet fancy thing where they often scratch your car before you know it OR on-street resident only which comes with uncertainly when it's snow time.

These are just few things why more people grow to love this area and consider it as a desirable neighborhood. It is safe, beautiful, peaceful, easy access to everything you need on the daily basis.

What not to love?

Caramel wrote:

Chefs and restaurant entrepreneurs are taking notice of East Cambridge as well. Check out Bondir, Area Four (named after an East Camb neighborhood), Meadhall, and Barismo, opening a cafe, Dwell Time on Broadway in the coming months.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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