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Curbed Boston Awards '14: the Hardest-to-Avoid Trend


[Map from May of new residential development; source: HotPads]
We continue handing out our Curbed Boston Awards for the year that almost was by calling 2014's most inescapable, unavoidable trend: too many new luxury apartments going up and therefore a lot of tenant incentives to fill them.

Way back in March, our numbers guru David Bates hinted that the region, particularly Boston proper, was headed for a glut of luxury apartments. Big-wigs in the real estate industry soon chimed in to, by and large, concur. And! We then dubbed the whole looming leasing thunderstorm the Glutpocalypse. The trend has two facets: There really are a lot of new apartments going up or opening in Greater Boston, most of them at the luxury end (some of them at the really, freakin' luxury end). And developers and landlords have turned to often extremely generous sweeteners to fill them (think three months free rent, for instance). Ergo: There are probably too many luxury apartments out there.

Why is this ironic? Because the region faces a chronic housing shortage. Indeed, the front-runner in the Curbed Boston Awards for Number of the Year is 53,000as in the number of new housing units that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh wants to add to his city. Other cities desperately want to add housing as well. Yet most of what is now going up—and, again, it's a ton of it by historical standards—is not the sort of housing that most cities actually want and need: e.g., the rent is too damn high. For now. All the over-supply could bring down rents. If these luxury apartments don't morph into condos first. Goddamn, things are never dull 'round here.
· Glut, Glut! '14 a Tipping Point for Boston Apt. Development? [Curbed Boston]
· Big-Time Boston Landlord 'Banking On' Luxury Apartment Glut [Curbed Boston]
· Where to Rent in Greater Boston Right This Second [Curbed Boston]
· New Eastie Development Offering Up to Three Months Free [Curbed Boston]
· Boston Housing Plan: Incentivize Developers, Cross Fingers [Curbed Boston]
· Mapping Boston's 4,776 New Apartments and Condos [Curbed Boston]
· The Market Loves Avalon Exeter and Its $10K Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· Manhattanization of Boston Real Estate Continues Unabated [Curbed Boston]