One of the oldest and most beautiful cities in America, Boston has long been a desirable place to live. The luxury apartment market in 2017 reflects that trend, with the construction of over 5,100 new apartments in highly sought-out neighborhoods, as well as the refurbishment and expansion of existing properties in older parts of town. The development of new real estate is not limited to luxury apartment buildings; several areas of the city, including Charlestown and South End, are either upgrading existing infrastructure, or adding enormous new mixed-use projects that promise to boost both the region’s economy and its overall property values. When the Hub on the Causeway is complete, it will add 440 high-end residences in what used to be known as the Boston Garden site. Meanwhile, the 23-acre Seaport Square development is slated to add 3,200 new units.
Because of the number of new available units opening up in the city, according to the Boston Globe the median rental price for an apartment in Boston is now $2,038, which is a slight drop from 2016’s median rate. However, this average varies greatly by the specific neighborhood. Boston, which is behind only New York City and San Francisco in terms of average rental costs, offers a wide variety of locations and amenities, depending on what attributes tenants seek in their neighborhoods and their specific living space. Some neighborhoods offer easier access to parks and public space, while others are known for their dense concentration of restaurants, art galleries, and office towers. Many neighborhoods are either situated near or overlook bodies of water including the Charles River and the Boston Harbor; some are sited in tighter-knit communities with cobblestone streets.
The most affluent neighborhoods in Boston have traditionally been the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and Charlestown, while up-and-coming neighborhoods include Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Hyde Park. Regardless of whether you’re interested in finding an apartment in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the Waterfront, Downtown, or another area of the city, we’ve compiled some helpful facts and statistics about the contemporary state of the luxury apartment market, broken down by neighborhood. The individual neighborhoods listed below have been selected to provide a glimpse into the variety of amenities, prices, and new developments one can find while searching for a luxury apartment in Boston. While most prices are based on statistical averages, we have highlighted specific properties in order to give potential tenants a better feel for the range of styles and values that are available. Please do not hesitate to ask for more detailed information by neighborhood, type of apartment, or price range.
Considered to be one of the most prestigious and affluent neighborhoods in Boston, the Back Bay is suffused with boutiques, restaurants, and a thriving business district. It’s also been host to the development of a slew of new luxury apartment buildings, many of which were completed in 2016, and some of which are slated to open at the end of this year. Bordered by the Charles River to the north, the Massachusetts Turnpike to the South, Charlesgate East to the West, and Arlington Street to the East, the Back Bay has one of the highest prices per square foot in the city. According to a survey, the list price for luxury apartments in the Back Bay has a price range per square foot between $651 and $3,106. However, the average rental price per month for a Back Bay studio is $1,715. A one bedroom has an average rental price of $2,444, and a two bedroom usually rents for $3,196.
The first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Company, Charlestown’s street grid was laid out in 1629, and has been a hot spot ever since. The area has experienced a pricing surge in the past year, due in part to new developments which are expected to significantly improve the already desirable neighborhood, including the future replacement of the North Washington Street Bridge. The neighborhood is also slated to be the future home of the One Charleston, a development that will add 2,100 luxury dwellings and 90,000 square feet of retail and civic space. According to Curbed, a recently completed 3,000 square foot townhouse in the area was listed for $1,899,000, which works out to a price of $633 per square foot. While there is again a pricing range for luxury apartments, the average rent in Charlestown for a studio is $2,173, the average rent for a one bedroom is $2,610, and a two bedroom normally rents for $4,357.
Often referred to as the largest neighborhood in Boston, Dorchester is also one of the most vibrant, with a host of delicious cuisines, over 500 acres of gorgeous, publicly-accessible green space in Franklin Park, and unparalleled views of Neponset River. It will undoubtedly become the site of more development in the future as the city looks for new housing opportunities. The list price per square foot for an apartment in Dorchester ranges from $152 to $555. The average rent in Dorchester for a studio is $2,308, while a one bedroom usually rents for $2,438. A two bedroom has an average rental price of $2,689.
Like many neighborhoods in Boston, the South End is experiencing a new wave of planned growth. According to Curbed, the 5.6 acre site of what was formerly the Boston Flower Exchange is now officially slated to be developed into a 1.6 million square foot project with retail, business, commercial, and technological spaces, centered around a 30,000 square foot park. Although South End currently rivals both the Back Bay and Charlestown in terms of average list and rental prices, there’s no doubt that this neighborhood will only continue to increase in value as time goes by. Currently, the list price per square foot for an apartment in the South End ranges from $466 to $1,495. The average rent in South End for a studio is $2,346, while a one bedroom usually rents for $3,040. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is $3,897.
For those whose love to live among skyscrapers and the bustle of a thriving, prosperous metropolis, downtown Boston is an unforgettable place. Melding a strong undercurrent of history with a fresh, contemporary style, Boston’s downtown offers a number of cultural amenities including the Maritime Museum, a famous farmer’s market, and a seemingly unending supply of restaurants. A recent 1,210 square foot two bedroom condo with a loft and ample ceilings in the area listed for $1,014,900, which works out to a list price per square foot of a little over $838. The average rent for a studio in Downtown is $2,446, a one bedroom is $3,129, and a two bedroom is $4,344.
Adjacent to the Charles River, Beacon Hill is one of the oldest continuously inhabited neighborhoods of Boston, featuring a variety of Federal Style rowhouses and cobblestone streets. Partially because of this picturesque quality, it has also become one of the more desirable areas in the city. There is also currently a movement to place a measure on the 2018 ballot to drop the neighborhood’s sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5 percent. In 2017, the listing price per square foot for a luxury apartment in Beacon Hill ranges from $888 to $2,615. This places the median rent for a studio in Beacon Hill at $2,380, while a one bedroom apartment rents at $3,024. A two bedroom apartment rents on average for $3,987.