Boston’s Building Spree Continues

Anyone who lives in or visits Boston can’t help but notice one thing: almost every corner seems under construction. With cranes and work-in-progress steel structures seemingly everywhere that you look, the city is teeming with development.

A recent story in The Boston Globe reported that Boston’s current “building spree” has become historic, stating that its “enormity, pace, and geographic sweep are redefining the skyline faster than any period since the early Industrial Age.” The article identifies the Seaport District, the South End, North Station, and Dudley Square as neighborhoods that are experiencing some of the most rapid transformation.

Boston real estate agent David Bates recently referred to these sweeping changes as the “Boston real estate Kool-Aid,” noting that Boston real estate is undergoing a renaissance period. “Companies are coming, people are coming, families are staying and innovators are innovating,” Bates wrote in Curbed.

Here are some recent stats that reveal just how much Boston’s population, housing market, and businesses are on the rise:

  • In 2014, World Population Review reported that Boston’s population rose nearly 2% (adding nearly 30,000 people to reach about 646,000) in 2013 from its last recorded population in 2010—more growth than the city experienced in the eighties and nineties combined.
  • The Greater Boston area is home to around 4.5 million people, which makes it the 10th-largest metro area in the U.S.
  • At the end of 2014, 14.6 million square feet of new buildings were on the rise across the city of Boston.
  • Boston is gradually developing a taller skyline with five proposed towers of more than 600 feet, defying a 19th-century zoning code with height limits of 80-120 feet.
  • An unprecedented amount of new housing construction is underway in Boston, with 72 projects in progress, nearly 70% of which are residential buildings.
  • By 2018, about 8,000 new apartments are expected to be completed in Boston. This doubles the number built in large luxury buildings since the sixties.
  • The median selling price of condos rose to $619,000 in downtown Boston in 2014, up 12% over the previous year.
  • In the first 10 months of 2014, a survey conducted by Bates found that about 60% of Boston-based condos sold for at least their asking price, with buyers paying at least 1% above list price on close to half (43%) of these sales. One in five buyers surveyed paid at least 5% over the asking price, and one in 10 paid at least 10% over ask.
  • Foreign investment in commercial properties in Boston rose to $10.4 billion in 2014—more than doubling since 2013—ranking Boston sixth in the world in funds attracted from foreign sources.

Bates sums up how this total picture of Boston’s boom will affect real estate in 2015: “New neighborhoods will be created and old neighborhoods will be transformed; some commercial areas will become much more residential and some residential areas will become much more commercial. The skyline will grow and the infrastructure beneath will be improved. Retail, restaurants, pharmacies and supermarkets will arrive in their new city locations.” Boston Globe staff writer Casey Ross adds that “With our health care and academic institutions, we have a very compelling story to tell. I think we have a strong outlook for the next 10 years.”

More Housing Opportunities in Boston

Thinking about how to take advantage of this growing real estate market? You don’t have to decide today how you want to invest in Boston’s thriving real estate market. Get to know the city first! Start with short-term apartments in Boston and discover its most promising neighborhoods. Call Furnished Quarters at 800-255-8117 to learn more about your options.

Moving to Boston: Things to Consider

There’s no doubt that Boston is a hotspot when it comes to desirable places to live. As one of the most economically powerful cities in the country and the world, Boston’s $363 billion economy is the sixth largest economy in the United States and the 12th largest globally.

That gives Boston an edge when it comes to everything from culture, cuisine, and education. It also means home prices for both renters and buyers are among the most expensive in the nation. According to Jumpshell, Boston’s rental market is among the five least affordable in the U.S., requiring 44% of the monthly average wage for rent.

It can be even more challenging to buy a home in Boston due to both cost and low inventory in some popular areas of the city like the South End. According to, the median home price in Boston metro is $367,700, which might buy either a one-bedroom condo in the city or a 300-foot studio in particularly coveted neighborhoods like Back Bay. While there’s a wide range of prices for new homes in surrounding areas—many far pricier than the median—tight supply along with rising prices can complicate house hunting in Boston.

High Demand, Short Supply

David Bates, an agent with William Raveis who has 18 years of experience in Boston’s real estate market, notes that those relocating to Boston should keep in mind that the city has a shortage of quality homes available. “Solid demand and marginal supply mean that the price of sales and rentals are pretty high compared to other areas,” said Bates. “Back in the days when there was no Internet, most home seekers would experience serious sticker shock upon seeing what it would cost to live in the Boston home they wanted.”

Bates added that competition is fierce for the limited number of Boston-based properties. Those hoping to call Boston home should be prepared to jostle for position among multiple offers and bidding wars for top apartments and condos. A survey of sales that Bates conducted revealed that in several of the city’s best condo markets, more than half of sales sold above asking price—some significantly above it. In fact, in 2014, more than 100 Boston condos sold for at least $100,000 more than asking.

“Because the good apartments can move so quickly, anyone relocating should be ready to make their application out fast,” said Bates. “If you see an apartment you like, run—don’t walk—to fill out the application.”

A Foot in the Door

Because of these challenges, many considering moving to Boston choose to begin with temporary furnished housing. The search for a permanent residence can often take longer than expected in this area of the country. Having a place to call home during your house hunt that’s conveniently located in the area that you plan to settle down in can ease stress both before and during moves. With Boston short term apartments in areas like Back Bay and Boylston Street, you will ease your way into feeling like a local before settling on more long term housing.

A furnished short-term rental in Boston can provide those relocating to the area with full amenities and all of the comforts of home without the hassles of either a hotel stay or moving before you’re really ready. To learn more about temporary furnished housing options in Boston, call 800-255-8117 or visit Furnished Quarters’ contact page.

The New Face of Boston Apartments

Boston apartments are becoming increasingly exclusive. Back in the spring, The Boston Globe reported that the prices of Boston luxury condos were soaring. The average price to live in downtown Boston—as well as other hotspots like the Back Bay, the South End, and Beacon Hill—had surged to nearly $1 million. This hefty price tag was the result of a more than 17 percent jump in condo sales during the first quarter of 2014.

The report noted that luxury apartments were “flying off the market,” selling in an average of 20 days. This figure was particularly notable since luxury units have traditionally been the slowest sellers—they sold in an average of 167 days during the same months of 2013.

New Records

Fast forward to this fall, and real estate experts are continuing to comment on Boston’s record-breaking luxury real estate market. In fact, Curbed Boston recently identified “lots of new luxury apartments” as one of five trends that are currently dominating Boston real estate.

Debra Taylor Blair, president of LINK, Inc., noted in the Globe that Boston has undergone a “major transformation,” and is now approaching “more of a New York City lifestyle.” Part of creating that lifestyle means providing the continuing influx of transplants to the city with ultra-high-end housing that costs well into the millions. This change has caused Boston’s housing landscape to shift toward a luxury format as the norm rather than the exception in 2014.

Off-the-Charts Sales

The most recent Cutter Report, which identifies Boston real estate trends, states the numbers for high-end condo sales are still “off the charts” and show no signs of losing steam in the near future. What’s more, it’s not just that we’re seeing an increase in transactions—it’s that units are selling at higher values than ever before as well.

The report emphasizes that for million-dollar condos, the average price per square foot topped $1,000 year-to-date. That’s a 7 percent hike over 2013 for these Boston apartments—and a 19 percent raise since five years ago. Resales at the Ritz-Carlton towers continue to lead the pack in the high-end space, with the average gross price now surpassing $2 million.

A Higher Skyline

And the buyers are out there for those high-priced properties. Scott Van Voorhis reported on just in August that a condo at Boston’s Four Seasons sold for a whopping $10.5 million—nearly $3,000 per square foot. Van Voorhis noted that this was thought to be the “highest amount paid to date, on a per-square-foot basis.”

Van Voorhis predicts that this upward pricing pressure on Boston’s luxury real estate market is just getting started. He notes that luxury towers are getting both taller and more expensive. Right now the city’s tallest towers are around 40 stories high. But new projects including the $700 million Christian Science tower in the Back Bay and the Millennium Tower in Downtown Crossing will stretch nearly 60 stories, raising the city’s skyline. These coveted buildings may fetch a previously unheard of $4,000 to $5,000 per square foot.

A Million Isn’t What It Used to Be

While a cool million bucks used to be plenty to seal a deal in the luxury market, Van Voorhis noted in another recent post that $1 million no longer guarantees a dream pad in Boston. Home buyers today must be prepared to go toe-to-toe with both deep-pocketed foreign investors (the luxury real estate market tends to draw Euro buyers by the dozens) and people prepared to plunk down full cash payments.

Curbed reports that it’s not uncommon for Boston buyers to show up at open houses with plastic garbage bags stuffed with cash to gain an edge on hot properties. It’s often no longer enough to compete with 20 percent, or even 30 percent, down since determined bidders may offer as much as 50 percent down to curry favor with sellers.

Foot in the Door

While the prices needed to break in to the luxury market are beyond the budget of many would-be buyers, these trends affect the rest of the market as well. For buyers determined to face these challenges, temporary furnished housing can offer a viable short-term solution. With property searches taking considerably longer than they used to, corporate apartments in and around Boston can help guests bide time in comfort during their house hunt.

Need Temporary Housing in Boston?

Furnished Quarters is a temporary housing provider with a wide range of furnished rentals and corporate housing and temporary housing in Boston.  To learn more about how Furnished Quarters can help with your Boston real estate search, call 800-255-8117.

Is an End in Sight to South End’s Inventory Shortage?

We’ve come a long way since the 1980s, when the South End was considered remote and unsafe. Real estate was cheap in the neighborhood back then. But as local artists and other early adopters began taking advantage of the area’s low housing prices, the South End gentrified quickly.

Today, this Boston Landmark District—with tree-lined streets and red-brick townhouses dating back to the 1800s—has become a trendy draw for upscale professionals and diverse young families alike. It’s easy to see why. The location is ideal, just minutes away from both downtown and Back Bay. The South End is also home to some of the best restaurants, boutiques, and retail stores in the city, as well as nearly 30 parks.

South End James Hayes Park

Ready to move in? Not so fast. While the South End has become one of Boston’s most popular neighborhoods, it’s also now among its most expensive and exclusive. In fact, it can be very difficult to buy into the South End due to a severe inventory shortage.

“Across the city since around February 2012—when the market started to change from a market where no one wanted to buy, to a market that had a lot of pent up demand—buyers who had put off buying because of the economy entered the market,” explained David Bates, an agent with William Raveis, in an exclusive interview. “There is additional demand coming from Millennials, empty nesters, and people relocating.”

Slim Pickings

In a recent interview with Real Estate Talk Boston, John Neale, an agent with Sprogis & Neale Real Estate, described inventory as “still the number-one problem for buyers looking in the South End.” Neale noted that at the time of his interview in August, there were only around 50 condominiums for sale in the entire South End, and less than 5 townhouses.

Bates, who has 18 years of experience in Boston’s real estate market, reported that these numbers have dropped dramatically over the past few years. He wrote about this South End trend back in March 2013. In 2011, 144 South End condos were on the market at the end of August—almost triple the number available during the same month in 2013 and 2014.

Duking It Out

With numbers like these, bidding wars have surprisingly become the norm, with properties selling for well over the (already steep) asking prices. Bates noted that more than half of the South End condos that sold in the first seven months of 2014 sold for more than their list price.

“More than one-third of total South End condo sales (101 sales) went at least $20K over ask, 44 went at least $50K over ask, and 11 South End sales sold at least $100K over ask,” said Bates. “Stuff like that just makes me say, ‘Wow!’” Bates added that some properties have gone even higher. This year, unit #3 at 79 Chandler Street sold for a jaw-dropping $240,000 over the asking price.

Few Starts, Little Construction

Can new construction turn this situation around soon for prospective home buyers in the South End? So far, it’s not looking likely. Housing starts have been next to nil in the South End during 2014, with new construction “pinched” off, according to Neale. Very few townhouses are under renovation in the South End, and the new buildings under construction are selling the majority of their units at record-breaking prices between $1,000 and $1,150 a square foot.

“There is some new construction, but not nearly enough to put an end to the bidding wars in the foreseeable future,” said Bates. He added that the 83-unit Sepia in the Ink Block—the most well-known new condo building—is based in an emerging South End location, not in an established location like the streets near Back Bay. Even so, Neale noted that the building is already over 60 percent sold more than a year before its delivery date.

South End Boston Warren Avenue

Looking Back and Ahead

What’s behind the inventory shortage, and is there any end in sight? “No one I know has explained the lack of inventory, but my personal theory is that people don’t want to give up the wicked low interest rates they locked into when the economy was tough,” said Bates.

Bates predicts that as a result of the South End’s many attractive amenities and lack of new construction, the current inventory shortage will likely continue for some time. “In Boston, throughout my 18 years in the business, we have always had too few condominiums and too few apartments,” said Bates. “While the new construction that we see in the area is primarily dedicated to apartments, the slated condominium construction is primarily for luxury condos and will command some record-breaking prices—which of course is no help to everyday buyers.”

Sane South End Solution

One solution for everyday buyers is temporary furnished housing, which can provide a cost-effective way to get situated in Boston in light of these challenging circumstances. Temporary furnished rentals and corporate apartments in and around Boston can help guests familiarize themselves with the South End market while biding their time during their housing search.

Furnished Quarters is a temporary housing provider with a wide range of furnished rentals throughout Greater Boston. To learn more about how Furnished Quarters can help with your South End search, call 800-255-8117 or visit our contact page.

What You Need to Know About Renting an Apartment in Boston

At the start of the year, ran a story called “Why Boston Rents Won’t Ever Go Down.” The premise was that even though Boston already can claim its spot alongside San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles as one of the priciest locations in the U.S. to rent an apartment, the Boston rental market won’t be falling anytime soon due to an ongoing apartment and condo crunch.

With half of 2014 now behind us, recent reports suggest that the January prediction is now coming true. Despite the fact that construction continues throughout the Boston area with an increasing number apartment towers and luxury condos springing up, rents still aren’t going down.

Part of the reason for this — as Boston Real Estate Now reported earlier this month — is that the housing boom forecast by former Mayor Thomas M. Merino is not on track to meet the goal of 30,000 new housing units by 2020. In fact, Boston is expected to start construction on 3,200 new residential units this year—a large number to be sure, but not as high as the initial numbers suggested. Plus, many of those new buildings are deluxe condos and other luxury rentals, which prices out many would-be renters who require more affordable options.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that while many prospective renters have traditionally relied on online search tools like and to help locate rental properties, fewer buildings are advertising rentals on these sites as the Boston rental market has gotten tighter. “The majority of our luxury rental buildings are not included on these sites,” says Marcy Frankel, a relocation consultant for William Raveis Real Estate. “Often units listed are outdated and used as ‘bait and switch’ ads. The only way to find them is to Google around until one discovers that they exist.”

Changing Trends in the Boston Rental Market?

Yet Frankel and other industry insiders suggest an end may be in sight to these trends. “One might think that the huge increase in these luxury units throughout the city would reduce rents by sheer competition, but that has not come to fruition,” says Frankel. “Yet from my many years of rental experience, I know that if you can wait out the market, you will see reductions as the summer market passes and the fall is upon us.”

John V. Donovan,director of leasing and marketing at The Devonshire, predicts that market trends will more fully reveal themselves over the next two years. “At some point, the real estate developers will see that continuing to build rental housing geared at the $100K-plus salary range prospective residents will fall flat,” says Donovan. “If a developer decided to build moderately priced apartments, they would rent before construction is completed.” He adds that the rental structure at the Devonshire has always been priced just below its competitors, providing the edge they need to maintain high occupancy levels.

Temporary Furnished Rentals Are a Solution

Many in the housing industry point to temporary furnished rentals as a more cost-effective way to get situated for those relocating to the Boston area. According to Frankel, “this affords one the opportunity to bide one’s time for the fall rental market and it’s somewhat reduced pricing.” Additionally, an advantage to staying in a furnished short term rental is that it gives guests a chance to get the lay of the land before they commit to longer-term housing.

“Many people relocating for work are reimbursed by their employer for 30 days, 60 days, or sometimes longer depending on their position in their new company,” explains Donovan. “Many of these companies realize the difficulty of either finding suitable rental housing or purchasing a home in the Boston metro area and want their new employees to have an easier transition. Renting temporary furnished apartments provides the perfect solution. Relocation clients can literally walk in with their suitcases and be in a beautifully furnished and fully equipped temporary home.”

Donovan notes that as Boston has seen job growth across many industries including healthcare, biotech, and technology, demand has risen for furnished short term rentals. “I believe that they provide a cost-effective alternative to hotel stays,” says Donovan. “Of course the huge academic community in Boston, and their faculty and student body, also are major drivers in demand. These same factors have also driven the traditional rental market.”

Frankel agrees that prospective renters are now exploring furnished short- or long-term housing options in increasing numbers. “This circumstance affords the luxury of living in a fully furnished unit in one of the luxury buildings one may be contemplating,” says Frankel. “A potential renter is now armed with the experience of making an educated decision whether this particular building or location is the right choice.”

Are You Looking For a Short Term Boston Apartment Rental?

Furnished Quarters can help. We have numerous furnished short term rentals in Boston that are loaded with amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Call us today at 800-255-8117 or visit our contact page.

Family Relocating to Boston? What You Need to Know

With summer just around the corner, it’s high season for family relocations. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy in Boston, families “on the move” are wise to think ahead. Summer is an ideal time to choose your new location and get settled before kids go back-to-school in September.

But if Boston is where your family’s moving truck is bound this summer, there are a few things to consider. Moving is almost always stressful, regardless of the circumstances. Family relocations can be especially challenging, so it’s important to seek support when you need it. Partnering with a corporate housing expert on the front end to help guide your decision-making process can save many headaches on the back end. As you start your moving preparations, here are three tips to consider, along with some resources to help facilitate the process:

Don’t “Go It Alone”

It can be tempting to want to take the lead when deciding where your family’s residence will ultimately be located. Yet unless you’re already very familiar with Greater Boston, you’re unlikely to fully appreciate the important distinctions between Boston’s many neighborhoods. Each section of Boston proper has it’s own unique personality, and different parts of the city might appeal to you for different reasons.

Back Bay, for example, is a target destination for many who move to Boston. As famous for its Victorian brownstone homes as for its world-class shopping and proximity to cultural institutions such as Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, the neighborhood is considered one of the top sites of 19th-century urban design in the nation.

The Boston Seaport District on the city’s waterfront is another popular neighborhood for newcomers. The Seaport was dubbed “the hottest neighborhood in town” by Boston magazine, as it continues to attract a wide range of residents to an area that’s bursting at the seams with new development. The prime location near downtown, coupled with its explosive growth, make the Seaport a great choice for families who want to avoid a commute from the suburbs.

These are just 2 of more than 20 neighborhoods in the City of Boston—not to mention additional choices in Greater Boston, including Cambridge and Brookline. This is where corporate housing experts can help you more effectively choose a neighborhood that will best match the needs of your family.

Know What to Look For

A corporate housing expert can also help you think through your family’s specific needs and preferences to help hone in on an ideal location. Take the time up front to make sure that a corporate housing expert understands your job location, school needs, and your family’s lifestyle.

Your temporary housing provider may ask you “lifestyle” questions like these to help narrow your search for housing:

  • Where is your company’s office located?
  • Would you prefer to live in a city or suburban setting?
  • What do you and your family like to do in your free time?
  • Do you enjoy outdoor activities?
  • Are there particular types of restaurants that you prefer?
  • How old are your kids and what grades are they in now?
  • Do your children play sports?
  • Do your children have any special school needs?
  • Does your family participate in specific religious activities?

Take a “Test Drive”

Want to really get to know a locale and find out if it suits your family before making a permanent move? The best way to do so is to try out one or more temporary housing solutions before putting down roots. If you’re relocating with an employer, your human resources department may be able to work directly with a corporate housing provider to place your family in a few different locations. Then your whole family can “test drive” various neighborhoods before committing to permanent housing.

During these trial runs, you’ll be able to compare different neighborhoods in Boston to see what it’s like to live in them. Some furnished apartment providers even offer deals and discounts on local services, allowing guests to really experience each neighborhood as local residents experience it.

If appropriate prior to your relocation, ask your HR manager if the company’s corporate housing provider could tour you through multiple corporate apartment examples during any of your business trips to the area. This will allow you to explore what types of temporary housing might make your family most comfortable long before the moving truck arrives.


Check out the following resources to help you prepare before, during, and after your family’s relocation:

  • City of Boston, provides extensive information by neighborhood about communities and services, searchable by address.
  • Visitors’ Information, City of Boston, provides detailed information on transportation, things to do, culture, recreation, and weather in the Boston Metro area.
  • Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, provides a Boston Travel Guide listing hotels, restaurants, and activities in the Greater Boston area.
  • Furnished Quarters, corporate housing provider with Boston neighborhood information and corporate apartment listings.

Choosing Short-Term Rentals in Boston: Hot Spots 2014

Looking for Boston furnished apartments, short-term rentals in Boston, or a corporate apartment? There are a few top neighborhoods to keep on your radar screen.

With nearly all job sectors continuing to add to positions, ongoing widespread construction continues throughout the Boston metro to meet the growing demand for apartments in 2014. Close to 4,000 new apartment rentals will be made available in Boston’s core this year—at levels “near the pre-recession peak,” according to research from Marcus & Millichap.

This year’s hot spots center on the urban core submarkets of Boston’s Financial District and Cambridge, which are slated to roll out the majority of the new units. Boston’s waterfront—known as the Seaport District—is also seeing rising demand for housing as companies continue to relocate thousands of employees to the region. Boston’s desirable Back Bay neighborhood also makes the A-list for one of the best locations to visit (and to live).

If you’re looking for short-term rentals in Boston, here are some quick tips for travelers to these in-demand locations, including suggestions on where to stay:

Short-term rentals in Boston’s Financial District

The metropolitan submarket that encompasses both the Financial District and Seaport District—all the way to North End in downtown Boston—is ripe with housing development. Visitors to the area can enjoy convenient access to Chinatown, Boston Common, and Boston Harbor, as well as world-class shopping, restaurants, and historic sites like Faneuil Hall. Stay at the Devonshire at the center of the Financial District for unbeatable views of the city skyline.

Corporate Housing in Seaport District

Corporate apartments are in high demand in Boston’s Seaport District, with local businesses expected to relocate more than 6,000 employees over the next few years to the waterfront area alone. For an enviable location right on the Boston waterfront, stay at Park Lane Seaport, which features floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of Boston Harbor and the city skyline.

Back Bay Housing

Another hot spot with plenty of furnished apartments in the downtown vicinity is Back Bay. Just a few miles from city center and home to the Boston Public Library and Public Garden, Back Bay allows convenient access to the bustle of Newbury Street, which is brimming with shops and cafes. For one of the best stays in Back Bay, try the luxury apartment complex Avalon at the Prudential, which features spectacular views and private terraces in select apartments to enjoy this enticing neighborhood.

Cambridge Furnished Apartments

In Greater Boston, Cambridge is at the “center of a real estate boom” according to the The New York Times. This is largely due to the explosive growth of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the area. In fact, according to the City of Cambridge, while the life sciences have been an important focus of Cambridge’s economy for over a decade, the past year has seen exceptional growth.

For visitors to this historic yet dynamic region, no destination blends “quaint” with “cultural” like Cambridge does. Just 10 minutes from downtown Boston, this college town (home to Harvard and MIT) hums with activity, from unique shops and cafes to museums and entertainment venues.

To be in the center of all that is Cambridge, stay in a furnished apartment at the Holmes Building near Harvard Square, located in the heart of the city’s world-famous Central Square. Another appealing building is Third Square, located in Kendall Square—a premier destination to be near the biotech buzz. Here, you’re well-positioned to take advantage of the best of the city’s business and leisure activities during your visit.

What’s Behind the Growth in Boston’s Apartment Market?

The year 2013 saw historic growth in Boston’s apartment market through the fourth quarter that has continued into 2014. What’s driving this impressive growth?

Employment, construction, vacancy, and rent factors have all led to strong apartment operations throughout the Boston metro area. So has a booming tech market. Here are some highlights:


A market report by Marcus & Millichap noted that total annual employment growth for the metro area ticked up a whole percentage point, with more than 24,000 workers added to staffs. Though this figure is down slightly from 2012’s 1.6 percent expansion, the report emphasized that Boston-based job gains in 2013 were “broad-based”—nearly every sector expanded with new positions.

Hiring was particularly robust in technology (see below), professional and business services, finance, healthcare, and education. These trends are ushering in a large contingent of relocated employees, boosting demand in 2014 for apartments throughout Boston and neighboring areas. As a result, the city is experiencing a wave of upgrades to many historic buildings, as well as urban infill development.


Last year’s development of approximately 4,200 units in Boston was unprecedented, blowing away 2012’s number of 3,600 new apartments. Now in 2014, most of these units (over 3,800) are coming online at market rate, with seniors housing and other affordable housing accounting for the balance. Scheduled deliveries in 2014 are “near the pre-recession peak,” according to Marcus & Millichap.

Boston’s Seaport District is among the areas experiencing rapid growth in new construction. Separate research by Marcus & Millichap reported that thousands of employees have been relocated to the area over the past few years, resulting in a “thriving urban hub” for thousands of new households.


Despite all the new construction, vacancies in Boston were at historic lows in 2013, and that trend is expected to continue in 2014. Boston Real Estate Now noted at the end of January that listings were already down around 30 percent lower than last year.


Low vacancies in Boston again this year mean ever-increasing rents. Marcus & Millichap reported that the average rent now hovers around $1,700 per month—a 3.4 percent bump over 2013. Some industry insiders speculate that rents may have peaked. Ford Realty pointed out in a recent article that with 9,800 new apartments scheduled for Boston over the next few years, including 1,600 this year, rents might actually start to inch downward.

But others predict that rents won’t drop any time soon. The Boston Globe reported in January that Greater Boston would need around 435,000 new units by 2040 to accommodate the increasing demand for apartments and other homes. To put that number in perspective, that’s enough units to house Boston’s entire population. Boston Real Estate Now speculates that it will be difficult to construct enough new residences quickly enough to keep rents from escalating.


The Boston Herald recently reported that the city’s tech industry is expected to experience another surge in 2014, with several key startups committing to the area. This affects the apartment market by stimulating growth as well as rising prices. New research from Trulia showed housing prices are more than 80 percent higher in tech hubs like Boston than other metro areas. According to The Boston Globe, “The startup scene in Boston grew a lot in 2013, and it’s going to have an even bigger year in 2014.”

Boston Sees Boom in New Apartment Buildings for 2014

Last spring, the City of Boston announced “Housing Boston 2020,” an ambitious initiative to add as many as 30,000 new housing units to the metro area in the next six years.

As he unveiled the plan back in March, Mayor Thomas Menino stated, “We can literally see the fast speed at which our housing market is growing. New units are springing up across our city, bringing new residents and new vitality to our neighborhoods.”

The Mayor added that the housing supply in Boston has rocketed faster than at any other time over the past five decades, with the creation of 20,000 housing units between 2000 and 2010. This growth is needed to keep pace with the city’s escalating population, which topped 600,000 in 2010 for the first time since the seventies.

Entering 2014, we can already see dramatic evidence of the initiative’s efforts. It seems everywhere you look construction is in progress or new apartment buildings have just been raised. According to the Boston Business Journal (BBJ), ribbons were scheduled to be cut on at least nine major new real estate developments in Boston in 2013, with many more on the horizon for 2014.

New Developments Include Furnished Apartments

The website for Downtown Boston lists a wide range of in-progress development projects with estimated completion dates in 2014, including both renovations and new creations. Corporate apartments and other temporary furnished apartments are in the mix, offering renters more choices to “fill unique housing needs” through short-term rentals, as reported by NY1. Furnished apartments also offer resident guests a more economical alternative to pricey hotel stays, with Boston among the top four cities seeing the highest hotel hikes nationwide, according to USA Today.

The new development is spread throughout key areas of Boston, from the Seaport District to the Back Bay and beyond. The BBJ noted Boston’s real estate boom includes “a Downtown Crossing renaissance,” as buildings with hundreds of units spring up east of Boston Common and west of the Financial District. Among the construction projects is a 58-story residential tower that in 2014 will become the third-tallest building in Boston’s skyline.

Raleigh Werner, co-founder at Jumpshell, predicted on BostonInno that 2014 will see Boston “continue to be one of the most vibrant apartment rental markets in the United States.” Jumpshell expects the year ahead to see an occupancy rate of nearly 97 percent, with demand for rental apartments continuing to increase.

Boston Real Estate Boom Makes Short-Term Rentals Appealing

The real estate market continues to heat up nationwide. But Boston is among a handful of cities where interest rates are low, rents are sky high, confidence is up, and inventory is exceptionally scarce.

Boston Magazine referred to Beantown’s market as “suddenly red-hot,” noting that Boston’s housing market (like those in New York and San Francisco) took less of a hit than in other parts of the country. Now with rents on the rise (up 6.4 percent in the last year alone), many are hoping to become homeowners instead of renters.

But it’s not that simple. There’s not enough inventory to go around for all interested buyers, a situation which is made even more competitive by the flurry of developers who are looking to make a quick profit through flips or rentals. just released an article showing home sales are continuing to accelerate in Greater Boston. In fact, a new Zillow survey reported that homes in the fall of 2013 stayed on the market for only 77 days—moving 7 percent faster than last year. What’s more, experts don’t expect improvement any time soon in the shortage of properties for sale in the Boston area. Construction of new homes and condos alike is failing to keep pace with the escalating demand in and around the city.

Furnished Apartments Offer an Affordable Solution

What’s a prospective Boston homebuyer to do? In some cases, an interim solution is in order. NY1 recently reported that “furnished apartments can fill unique housing needs,” noting that the hot real estate market has opened the floodgates to short-term rentals as well.

Some might find themselves turning to a temporary furnished apartment if they’re between homes, having sold one property before they’ve been approved to buy the next one. Others in Boston are relying on furnished apartments to help bridge the gap between being ready to buy and being able to land their dream home amidst the housing market acceleration.

NY1’s Monica Brown explained that monthly rentals offer several advantages to soon-to-be homebuyers. They provide a short-term stay opportunity without the commitment of signing a long-term lease, or the expense of a hefty broker’s fee. Short-term rentals also allow much more flexibility than other housing options. Guests can tailor their stay for a month, a half-year, or longer depending on their individual needs and how quickly their own home becomes available.

Temporary furnished apartments also offer home seekers a lower-priced alternative to pricey hotel stays. USA Today listed Boston among four cities with the highest hotel rate hikes nationwide.