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Boston-area rents in 15 cities and towns show Cambridge most expensive

Boston second priciest in terms of median rents as of September, while Everett was third

The exteriors of three apartment buildings in Boston. The center facade has orange brick. The facade on the left is red brick. The facade on the right is tan and white. Shutterstock

Cambridge and Boston were the most expensive municipalities to rent a one- or a two-bedroom apartment as of September 1, according to a new report from real estate listings and research site Zumper.

The analysis tracked vacant and available listings in the site’s database, so it provides a good, though not necessarily complete, snapshot of the Boston-area market at the unofficial start of fall.

The biggest takeaway is that Cambridge and Boston proper remain the most expensive municipalities for renting—and that the region in general is a pricey place for tenants.

Cambridge’s median one-bedroom apartment rent was $2,600 a month, unchanged from August 1 and up 5.3 precent from the same time last year. The median two-bedroom rent was $3,200, basically unchanged from August 1 and up 5.6 percent from September 1, 2018.

In Boston, the one-bedroom median was $2,500, unchanged from the month before though up more than 8 percent annually. The two-bedroom median was $2,900, the same as the month before and up 7.4 precent from the year before. Below’s a breakdown of the other cities and towns Zumper covered.

A chart showing median apartment rents in 15 Boston-area cities and towns.

Why are these rents as high as they are? Myriad reasons, from the Boston region’s patchwork of zoning regs (which have historically discouraged enough multifamily development to keep pace with population growth) to a for-sale market that keeps many people renting who would rather buy.