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What's Happening to Rents in the Boston Area?

Rents have continued to rise all over the Boston area. This has happened downtown in Beacon Hill, out in the suburbs of North Andover, and in neighborhoods in between like Somerville and Arlington.

For apartments in Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington, Belmont, and Winchester, it’s almost impossible to find anything available under $2,000 (even 1 BRs). If a renter wants off-street parking or particular amenities like central air, it gets even more difficult. In overall Massachusetts, rents are up 16% year-over-year.


The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Boston is $2,985, which is up 15% compared to last year, according to Zillow shows the median rent for all apartment sizes at $3,300, up 14% year-over-year.

MLS data from real estate brokers is similar, showing $3,014 average rent for 631+ square feet 1 BRs in Boston over the last 3 months as of 11/29/22. The average 3-bedroom apartment in Boston with 900+ square feet was rented for $4,017.

Rents in Boston are up about 18% year over year. The median 3 BR apartment went from $3,000 to $3,680 per month.


In Arlington, apartments start at $2,000/month. For renters who want parking and at least 3 bedrooms, rents start at $2,900.

Rent for the average 2 bedroom Arlington apartment is up 11.5% year-over-year. This figure is based on apartments that rented from the MLS between April 1st to November 29th.

Arlington apartments for rent


While a 3-bedroom apartment in Lexington currently starts at $2,800, there are only 2 available apartments on the MLS under $3,600. With 3+ bedrooms, at least 1.5 bathrooms, and 1 parking space, rents are in the range of $3,200 - $10,250. Rent for the average 2 BR in Lexington is up 18.2% year-over-year (15.5% if we exclude an outlier data point of $6,200/mo).

Lexington apartments for rent


A 3-bedroom apartment in Somerville starts at $2,700 or a little more with parking. Somerville 2 BR rents are up 16.1% year-over-year.


A 3-bedroom apartment in Cambridge starts at around $3,000. If you’re looking for a 4 bed, 2 bath apartment with parking, it will likely cost you at least $4,500.

The most expensive parts of Cambridge are West Cambridge and Harvard Square. A relatively good value for many renters is North Cambridge, with rents for 2 bedroom apartments as low as $2,700. North Cambridge is just blocks from Davis Square and Alewife Station (both on the Red Line). Kendall Square and East Cambridge have a handful of small and relatively inexpensive apartments.

Rent for a 3 bedroom Cambridge apartment is up 24.2% since last year.


3 BR apartments in Allston start at around $3,000/month, depending on availability. With a parking space, they start at $3,300. Allston 2 BR rents are up 16.4% since last year.

Rent pressure

The surge in mortgage rates has added fuel to the fire in the rental market. The real estate market was hot for years, affecting both home prices and rents. During 2022, interest rates rose dramatically, and this pushed some potential buyers out of the market and into the rental market. This has added upward pressure to rents. As inflation and higher interest rates weigh on the broader economy, rent pressures could finally begin to abate.

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