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Boston Rents Over Time

June 29th, 2015
housing

A friend asked about the seasonality of Boston rents, wondering if there was a good time to look. Short answer: sooner is better.

Both the mean and median rent are rising over time, going up about $100 or 4% per year. There doesn't seem to be much of a pattern for when in the year is cheapest.

About the data: I have 28 months of listings from Padmapper that originally come from Craigslist. This is for a rectangle that roughly represents what people seem to mean when they say "closer suburbs," reaching about half way out to route 128. You can see this visualized on jefftk.com/apartment_prices. Here I've calculated the mean and median rent from the 2-bedroom listings only. The number of listings does vary widely. I don't know whether it varies primarily because of people listing fewer apartments or something going wrong with Padmapper's scraping pipeline. I've excluded four months with very low samples from the chart above: 9/2013, 11/2013, 1/2014, and 2/2014.

datemedian costmean costsamples
2013-02-18$2300$2482972
2013-03-18$2200$2428698
2013-04-18$2300$2450776
2013-05-18$2300$24421194
2013-06-18$2300$24511331
2013-07-18$2300$24521267
2013-08-18$2400$25211117
2013-09-18$2100$2410163
2013-10-18$2400$2532931
2013-11-18$3050$295937
2013-12-18$2150$23211352
2014-01-18$2400$246563
2014-02-18$2200$251580
2014-03-18$2400$25362759
2014-04-18$2475$25952505
2014-05-18$2400$25252801
2014-06-18$2450$25442560
2014-07-18$2400$24912939
2014-08-18$2400$25593043
2014-09-18$2400$26072427
2014-10-18$2400$25832142
2014-11-18$2400$25371962
2014-12-18$2400$25212451
2015-01-18$2300$24922622
2015-02-18$2350$25382560
2015-03-18$2400$25382915
2015-04-18$2450$25952801
2015-05-18$2500$2685711
2015-06-18$2500$26661060

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