By Kate Merrill

BOSTON (CBS) — Krista Cornchuck never thought searching for an apartment in Boston would be so much fun. “This is amazing,” she said walking into an apartment at 30 Dalton Street with a massive window and a panoramic view of Boston’s Back Bay.

Krista moved out of the city a few years ago to escape the steep downtown rents, but she is now looking at places that are hundreds of dollars below her budget.

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“Which is pretty incredible compared to what it was a year ago,” she said.

“We are seeing a lot of incentives,” said Krista’s Realtor Jacob Coro. “One, Two, sometimes even three months free rent right off the top.”

“It’s unlike any market we’ve seen before,” said Demetrios Salpoglou of Boston Pads, a real estate company that tracks vacancies across Boston. His data shows that back in the fall of 2019 Boston had about 1,200 apartments available. Right now there are about 5,500, which is great news for renters.

“The biggest price reductions we see are in move-in rates,” explained Salpoglou.

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In Boston, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is about $2,500. A year ago, that would have required the first month’s rent, last month’s rent, a full month for a security deposit, and the broker’s fee. That’s $10,000 just to move in.

“Now you have tenants moving in with just one month’s rent.”

The condition of apartments is also better than ever according to Salpoglou. “Because we’ve had such a high vacancy rate, it’s given landlords an opportunity to go in and renovate their places,” he said.

Salpoglou also said if you are looking to move soon, you can even try to negotiate a lower rent, but he believes the market might tighten up again in the fall when he hopes the students will be back in full force.

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But for now, Krista is enjoying her options, which include a building with a pet spa, perfect for her pandemic pup, Cici.

Kate Merrill