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Boston apartment rents heading into May show increases from 2018

As talk of rent control and other ideas flourish, Boston notches yet another uptick in its median rents

A row of rowhouses along a city street. Shutterstock

Boston is the third most expensive major U.S. city for renting a one-bedroom apartment heading into May, according to a new report from real estate listings site Zumper.

The median one-bedroom rent in Boston of $2,420 is behind only those in San Francisco and New York.

As for two-bedrooms, Boston’s pretty high up there, too, among the nation’s 100 most populous cities. That median stands at $2,800, behind San Fran, NYC, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Washington.

Zumper’s report tracks vacant and available apartments, so it’s a pretty decent snapshot of the market. And that snapshot should surprise no one who has followed the Boston market in recent years, where tight supply, steady demand, and a host of other factors combine to make for one rough go of it for tenants.

The latest figures highlight that. The city’s one-bedroom median was up 5.2 percent from May 2018, and 0.8 percent from the start of April. The two-bedroom median was up 3.7 percent from May 2018, and 1.8 percent from April. See below for more of a breakdown.

Meanwhile, talk of rent control abounds to perhaps bring some more affordability to the market. Other ideas for easing Boston’s rental costs are also on the table—including the construction of private, independent dorms and lots of urban infill.