After 2 years of market uncertainty and supply upheaval caused by the pandemic, apartment availability in East Boston is lower than it has ever been. And by far. The availability rate for East Boston apartments skyrocketed to 12.55% by June of last year, more than double its pre-pandemic level in June 2019 (6.13%). Since then, the market has rapidly absorbed the excess rental inventory. By January of this year, that figure had shrunk to a slim 1.24%, a shocking 90.12% drop in apartment availability in just 7 months.
East Boston’s current availability rate is 3.81%, and has already begun to trend downwards after peaking at 4.37% earlier this month. In 2019, prior to COVID-19, the availability rate peaked at 7.5% in late March, almost double the apartment availability we’re currently seeing.
A look at current occupancy shows even more grim news for renters. The current vacancy rate in East Boston sits at 0.36%, less than half the previous all-time low set in late August of 2021 (0.72%). Vacancies typically hit their cyclical low in late August in East Boston as well as most of Boston, so it’s not unreasonable to expect the current occupancy to come close to the 100% mark by late August of this year.
East Boston’s rental market was already red hot coming into the pandemic. As rent prices soared across all of Greater Boston, Eastie remained a more affordable option for renters with close access to Downtown Boston. For now rent remains about 10% cheaper in East Boston compared to the rest of the city, but with supply figures this low that may not last long. Rent prices have already surpassed pre-pandemic levels and are at all-time highs, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down.