clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

In Boston, Rising Rent Has Far Outpaced Income Since 1980

And the city is not alone

Nobody who has ever apartment-hunted in these parts would be stunned to find that Boston rents have steadily marched upward during the past 40 years. What is a tad eyebrow-raising is just how far ahead of income rent increases have run.

ApartmentList has released a study that analyzes how rents and incomes have changed in major urban areas across the U.S. since 1980, including in Boston. Below is a chart showing that the median income of a Boston tenant increased about 20 percent from 1980 to 2014, while median rents increased roughly 60 percent.

As you can see, Boston is part of that cohort of increasingly pricey coastal cities, including San Francisco and New York. While incomes have risen in such metropolises, rents have shot into the proverbial stratosphere. From the ApartmentList report:

Expensive coastal cities saw significant increases in incomes, but not enough to keep pace with rising rents. Washington, DC, for example, had a 33% increase in real incomes, but rents rose by 86%. Similar results were seen in San Francisco, New York City, and Boston. Renters in Los Angeles struggled the most, as rents jumped 55%, even as incomes only increased 13%.

Hey, at least we’re not Oakland or San Jose, right? Right?