An in-depth look at the Massachusetts rental market: November edition

Including a breakdown by Boston neighborhood. Where are prices climbing? Where are they falling?

Lane Turner/Globe Staff
Boston remains the second-most expensive city for renters in the nation. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Rents may have slipped 1.6% since September in Boston, but that dip wasn’t enough to dethrone the city as the second-most expensive metro in the country, according to reports Apartment Advisor released Wednesday.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Boston was $3,000 in October, according to the website, which calculates that figure based on listings in its database.


This is the second consecutive month in which Boston has edged out San Francisco for that second spot, behind New York City, where the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment was a whopping $3,462.

Here are the top 10 most expensive metros for renters based on October prices:

  1. New York City ($3,462 a month for a one-bedroom unit)
  2. Boston ($3,000)
  3. San Francisco ($2,950)
  4. Miami ($2,579)
  5. San Jose, Calif. ($2,576)
  6. San Diego, Calif. ($2,400)
  7. Washington, D.C. ($2,300)
  8. Los Angeles ($2,296)
  9. Seattle ($1,949)
  10. Riverside, Calif. ($1,838)

New York was the only city in the top 10 that didn’t see a price drop in October.


The top 10 least expensive metros were:

  1. Wichita, Kan. ($650 a month for a one-bedroom unit)
  2. El Paso ($800)
  3. Oklahoma City ($812)
  4. Tulsa ($830)
  5. Omaha, Neb. ($865)
  6. Albuquerque ($933)
  7. Milwaukee ($938)
  8. Louisville, Ky. ($941)
  9. Corpus Christi, Texas ($950)
  10. Memphis ($975)

In Massachusetts

In the commonwealth, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment last month was down 2.3% to $2,442. But that reflects a 15.7% year-over-year increase, according to an Apartment Advisor report. What are rents doing in the community you have your eye on? (The following map reflects only those communities with sufficient inventory levels.)

The most expensive cities for renters in October were no surprise:

Cambridge ($3,106), up 0.5% month over month

Boston ($3,000), down 1.6%

Brookline ($2,915), down 3%

The least expensive cities for renters were:

Fall River ($1,375)

Springfield ($1,405)

Leominster ($1,421)

New Bedford ($1,448)

The biggest increases were in Newton, Medford, and Malden. The biggest drops were in Winthrop, Beverly, and Quincy.

In Boston

Apartment Advisor updates its Boston data daily, so the following charts reflect pricing as of Nov. 3. As of that date, the average rents for Boston proper were:

  • Studio: $2,800
  • One-bedroom: $3,200
  • Two-bedroom: $3,600
  • Three-plus-bedroom: $3,700

Studios (* means there was insufficient inventory)

One-bedroom units

Two-bedroom units

Three-plus-bedroom units


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