The sun is officially out and springtime is blooming beautifully in Boston. What does that mean? Well, in a massive college town like ours, that only leads to one thing: summer break. And for us no longer in the mercy of the schoolmasters, that means an abundance of rental units (or at least the opportunity to consider it) as students take a break from collegiate life and vacate their properties. And whether you're looking to move, buy, or rent, it's always good to have an extra eye out for neighborhoods where you get the most for your money. Here's a round up of both the priciest and the most sensible areas to rent in, courtesy of our friends from Zillow:
For those interested in investing, it'll be a good idea to look around these neighborhoods, as rents historically have better, more consistent return in these more "centrally located" pockets of the city. If you own property in any of these areas, we suggest you also consider divesting as numerous buyers are lurking around, practically prepared to dig deep into their pockets to get a piece of the "promised land". Why? Probably because these are also neighborhoods that have a diverse mix of commercial and residential spaces - as well as a good mash up of professionals and students alike, serving up a rosy picture of potential:
Chinatown $3,491 Back Bay $3,336 Beacon Hill $2,954 Newton $2,787 North End $2,780 Brookline $2,775 Charlestown $2,732 East Cambridge $2,687 Cambridgeport $2,602 Riverside (Cambridge) $2,513
However, if you're like any normal Joe just plainly looking for a change in living space, or are new to the city, these "hot spots" are considered excellent neighborhoods for starters as well. It gives you a good taste of the city, without the bitterness of big rents. Investors shouldn't shun away from these neighborhoods, too, as properties in these areas also consistently producing gold coins from the thriving student population, even when classes are on recess. This comes as the city is continually sprawling outward (with special mention to neighborhoods East and West of the city).
Allston $2,260 Hyde Park $2,217 Kenmore $2,204 North Dorchester $2,079 Mattapan $2,038 Brighton $1,984 East Boston $1,926
Historically, Boston has always belonged to the exclusive list of metropolitan cities that experience rising rents, no matter the economic circumstance. The city's student population is so huge that landlords have an assortment of applications to choose from. In fact, the overall Boston rental market increased 9.1% the first quarter of this year, pegging median rental price at $2,380. Hyde Park, though still within the "reasonable" range, saw the greatest price hike, clocking in at 21%. Perennially property hotspot Back Bay also saw average rents rise 4% in the first quarter.
CURRENT PROPERTY VALUES
Though more modest compared to growth of its sister cities across the nation, Boston saw a 5.2% increase in property values, compared to figures a year earlier according to the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Home Index. Still, real estate experts and analysts have defended the modest home value increase, saying that a 5 percent annual reflects a "healthy and robust real estate market" - certainly better than the past few years, we would say.
*Average rental rates as of March 2013.