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Blog :: 2015

Welcome to our blog! As Boston's leader in apartment rentals, we have our finger on the pulse of the local real estate market. Here, you'll find insight and announcements from our team to keep you up to date on everything you need to know about real estate in the Boston area.

It's not cheap to rent in Boston these days

Julie Xie from Boston.com had an interesting article last week on the ever growing rental costs in and around the city. Using data from Zumper she determined that the following 5 neighborhoods were most expensive in Boston which overall comes in at 3rd most expensive in the city.

  1. D Street - West Broadway (South Boston) : $3,350
    This area has been taken over in recent years by more luxury buildings which has driven the average price. Flats on D and theWest Square Apartments are the number one reason as they significantly outnumber and outweigh the minimal multi-family rentals here.
  2. Kendall Square (Cambridge) : $3,240
    More luxury buildings in this area as well with Watermark Kendall East and Lofts at Kendall both start over $3,000.
  3. Downtown Boston : $3,000
    Many great options here including The Devonshire starting right around $3,000.
  4. Chinatown/Leather District : $2,900
    The Kensington and The Radian are two of the most well known buildings in this area again with rents starting around $3,000.
  5. Thompson Square/Bunker Hill (Charlestown) : $2,730
    Here we have Gatehouse 75 which starts right at the neighborhood average around $2,700 per month.

It's no secret that Boston is continuing to grow with more and more large buildings going up all over the city and for now a decrease in rents doesn't seem to be in the near future.

25 Morrissey in Dorchester AKA Hub 25

As noted by ICON Architects on their website, The Residences at 25 Morrissey Boulevard is starting to get its own identity in the form of an official name: Hub 25. The 220,000 square foot building of 278 rental units is under construction in Dorchester and it seems like they are looking to brand the product.

This location is a commuter’s dream adjacent to the JFK Redline station, which offers bus, train and commuter rail services. The project will consist of two 5-story buildings and will consist of a mix of Studio, 1 & 2 Bedroom Units. As areas in the city such as South Bostonand the South End have increased demand and therefore increased rents, this Dorchester location could be a great alternative for young professionals and students alike. Suffolk and UMASS Boston especially like this area. Rents are expected to range from about $1,500 to $2,500 per month. Compared to something like Troy Luxury Apartments where rents start in the low $2,000’s and can get close to $4,000.

The construction by Dimeo has been delayed due to the winter that we all had to endure but things are expected to be back on track as the warmer weather approaches. This is just another part of a 20-year plan to really revitalize the area. Just last week President Obama was in Dorchester for the dedication and opening of the EMK Institute on Columbia Point.

Dare we say…The Dot is Hot? According to Zillow Rentals there are currently 91 rental listings ranging from $1,000 per month for a studio to $4,250 a month for a 5 bedroom. The additional 278 apartments right on Morrissey Boulevard will definitely bring a lot of buzz to the hub.

- ICON Architect Rendering

Back Bay Rentals -- A Market Full of Variety

The last thirty days trailing in the Back Bay, according to MLSPIN, there were 32 listings that were rented. We believe there were many more rentals, as many of the apartments that rent in the Back Bay, are not always on MLSPIN. For example, Avalon Exeter does not report listings to MLSPIN. You can see more info on Avalon Exeter HERE

Out of the 32 Back Bay rentals, the average rental rate was $4,142 or $4.31 per square foot. The most expensive rental was at 196 Beacon Street. It rented for $20,000 per month. That's close to $7.00 Per Square Foot. The most affordable Back Bay rental was $1,600 per month at 41 Edgerly Road at $4.05 per square foot.

196 Beacon was a big rental, however, it did not trump the record setting Boston rent that was achieved in March of 2013. 74 Beacon Street rented for $40,000 per month or $4.79 per square foot.

There are currently 105 rental listings available in the Back Bay for rent. The average rental list price is $5,290 per month. To view all rental listings in the Back Bay that are available now, please visit Advisors Living


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    CBS Boston: Lightweight Beams Can Contribute to House Fires

    - Credit: Boston.CBSlocal


    After reading a recent report from CBS Boston, we are a bit taken back by news of hazardous building materials that are prevalent in many homes built in the past ten years.

    “People have no clue what this lightweight construction means to their safety if there is a fire,” Wisconsin firefighter, Jo Brinkely-Chaudoir said.

    These building materials are made of composite wood material and are often used to support floors and roofs. Builders love them because they are strong and cheap, but they have one major flaw: they fail early when exposed to these fires.

    So be sure to be cognizant of what building materials your building is made of–stay weary of lightweight engineered I-beams or trusses!


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    Boston Apartments with Price Tags Equal to the Pats Super Bowl Bonuses

    - Credit: Curbed Boston


    Could the Boston housing market be out of even the Patriot’s bonus budget margins? The New England Patriots’ potential per-player payout of $165,000 for winning the super bowl will suffice just one years worth of rent for some of Boston proper’s swanky spreads. Divided by 12 months, rent can equate to $13,750 per month, which is assuming that Pat’s members have enough capital saved to cover security deposits. Pretty mind-boggling when you put it in to a context, huh?

    To see a list of eight Boston apartments that fit this criteria, jump over to Boston.curbed.

    Boutique Hotel Marked for Ink Block Neighborhood

    -Credit: Boston Herald

    If you didn’t think the Ink Block’s block could get any better, well, you thought wrong. The redevelopment of Boston’s South End is coming about nicely with Ink Block to kick start the process and the largest whole foods followed shortly after. Now plans to install a boutique hotel next door to Ink Block’s residential facilities are in the works. Managing partner Ted Tye said, “We’ve been trying to create an interesting and exciting urban community, and the hotel really supports the restaurants and retail activity that we’re creating.”

    Tye makes it clear that his vision for guests of the hotel is to use restaurants within Ink Block, and to make that a big driving point for guests to stay down in this neighborhood.

    The 200-room, ultra cool designed AC hotel by Marriott will be managed by an outside company. According to Curbed, Boston, AC Hotels started in Europe in 1998 before affiliating with Marriott in 2011. The chain has one U.S. hotel, in New Orleans, with others slated to open this year in Washington, D.C., Miami Beach and Kansas City.

    And according to Andrea Foster, senior vice president and New England practice manager for PKF Consulting, “The South End is a good location for an AC Hotel within Boston, and we’re still seeing improvements in performance (in the Boston market), and now we’re seeing a lot of development happening because occupancy and rate increases are so good.”

    Exciting news for this newly gentrified and hip location. Stay tuned for more to come!

    Millennium Tower Redefines Downtown Crossing Landscape

    - Credit: Curbed Boston


    “We have long dreamed of what Downtown Crossing could become,” Mayor Menino said in a statement on Curbed, “and we will soon realize that potential with Millennium stepping up to the plate and making this deal happen.” The long awaited Tower, to which is predicted to “remake” one of America’s oldest established neighborhoods will come to fruition in summer 2016.

    This neighborhood, dating back to the17th century, is full of historic wealth and beauty. But progressive is something it is not. Its quench for modern vibrancy is something the Tower is predicted to fulfill in Downton Crossing, adding the exact ingredients of residential, office and retail facilities this neighborhood needs. Preserving its character is important to city residents, and developers reassure that the gigantic Millennium will not only remake but also reserve its ancient charm.

    We look forward to what this Tower will do for our city—the count down is on.

    Suffolk Selling Beacon Hill Buildings

    - Credit: BeaconHillOnline


    Beacon Hill has been presented with a rare redevelopment opportunity by Suffolk University, whom currently is in the process of selling two classroom buildings to the tightly packed neighborhood. The vacant Archer and Donahue six story buildings, which comprise of nearly 175,000 square feet, are in need of tenants. Located at the corner of Derne and Temple Streets, both combines assessed value is about $45 million. The space is projected to attract proposals for hotel rooms, office spaces and residences.

    In efforts to shift the center of its campus closer to downtown Boston, Suffolk plans to build an eight-story building at 20 Somerset Street that comprises more equipped classroom facilities in replacement of the recently sold buildings.

    In case you or your affiliates are looking to buy, the Archer and Donahue buildings are being marketed by the real estate firm JLL.

    MA Home Sales Climb 10% in December

    - Credit: The Boston Globe

    home sales jumped 10 percent in December due to falling mortgage rates – deeming the strongest year-to-year sales increase of 2014. Sale prices have risen from $322,000 in 2013 to a median $330,000.00 in 2014. The 2.5% increase due to low mortgage rates and strong job growth has fed hope to real estate economists whom predict a strong 2015 year ahead. Although Boston has a relatively stable market, the limited, yet in demand land, is proving its advantages.

    From The Boston Globe:

    Annual home sales, just under 49,000, slumped 2 percent last year, down from about 50,000 in 2013…Prices, however, rose in 2014, to a median $330,000, up 2.5 percent from $322,000 in 2013.

    Timothy M. Warren, chief executive of the Warren Group [notes], ‘We have not seen a bump like [December] in over a year,’ he said. ‘With rates hitting historic lows for 30-year mortgages and strong job growth, I am confident that we will see a strong start to 2015.’