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Rents Hit Record High, Apartments Scarce In Boston-Area

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – If you’re looking to rent in Boston, get ready to pay up. Right now, there are record rental prices in the Boston area.

Ishay Grinberg, CEO of RentalBeast.com, says the median rent has reached a record high of $1,665 a month and the rental market is as tight as it’s been in a decade.

He says apartments are being rented “on an hourly basis. We can get apartments at 10 in the morning, by one o’clock they are under agreement.” Grinberg says vacancy is down to about one-to-one-point-five percent in many areas of downtown Boston. Many management companies don’t have any availability for September 1.

More Info: Average Prices by Neighborhood

The result: “Renters are being squeezed to further areas than where they would like to see themselves on the vacancy side, and on the rent side, the prices go up,” Grinberg explains.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

Grinberg says a number of factors are driving up the prices. He says the housing market is stalled, foreclosures are forcing many people out of their homes, and banks aren’t lending like they used to.

“A lot of people who could have gotten credit three or four years ago just don’t have access to cash, we used to have those no-doc loans, and now it’s way over the top to the other end, full-doc loan, they want to know what clothes you have in your closet. It’s really tough to get money,” says Grinberg.

He also points out that now, more than ever, it’s important to be ready to rent, and work with qualified people.

“Don’t expect to see something; sleep on it for a week. You have to be ready when you go out to look at apartments to pull the trigger, write a check, sign an application. Otherwise chances are, by the end of that day, or the next day, that apartment will be rented to someone else,” Grinberg says.

The city of Boston is working to help ease the pressure on renters. The city has approved 12,000 new units to be built, and the majority of those are rentals. They expect 4,000 new units will be ready to rent in the next several years. The apartments are located all over the city, from the Seaport to Allston to Mattapan.

The city also has a Rental Housing Resource Center helps potential renters find apartments and helps renters know their rights. That number is 617-635-RENT.

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