The Greater Boston Real Time Apartment Vacancy Rate is 5.1% as of August 15th, 2014

With less than fifteen days until the massive migration of apartment renters on the September 1st move in date, the real time apartment vacancy rate in the Greater Boston Massachusetts area is 5.1% according to BostonPads which is New England’s largest real time real estate database. There are a total of over 3,653 available apartment units in the BostonPads.com database, versus the 2,840 available apartment units last year at approximately this time. Last year, the real time apartment vacancy rate in the Greater Boston area was only 3.4%!

The BostonPads database continuously gathers and refreshes data through its network of sites and is the most accurate real time apartment database in New England. The 5.1% is based on analyzing the data of over 122,000 apartment listings. This number includes apartments that are currently on the market and available for rent.

There is a surprising amount of units on the market for rent. For the past couple of years, the Greater Boston apartment market has been tightening and driving down the vacancy rate. More recently, there is a large amount of apartments that have not rented and stayed on the market for a longer period of time. The 5.1% apartment vacancy rate is much higher than the projected 3.0% at this time, that was projected to occur when looking at data roughly two months ago. In previous years, the apartment vacancy rate has been closer to the 2.5-3.0% range towards the end of August! When BostonPads did its most recent study, it found that the availability rate at the beginning of August 2014 was 5.6%.

There are multiple disparate theories for this greater than expected vacancy rate average. It will be interesting to note if this trend continues upwards into the fall. For people who have not found a place to live on 9/1/14 yet, there are still a surprisingly good amount of options. September will most likely be a very strong month for rentals due to the fact that many quality apartments will be available throughout the Greater Boston Area. This time of year is also a great time for bargain seekers, what other time of year do you have this much power when dealing with landlords?

What this means for apartment seekers in Boston is that there is more inventory this year than last year at this time. Finally it is a renter’s market! Boston apartment seekers may have more negotiating power than they normally would going into the fall. After all, a landlord wouldn’t want to go vacant going into the fall or winter. Numerous larger Greater Boston landlords are getting nervous because they do not want to go vacant and thus may be willing to negotiate on price or terms of the lease. Many corporations have started cutting prices, waiving move in costs and offering to pay broker fees! Customers should seek reputable real estate companies that provide them with the most possible viewings of different apartments so that the best choices can be made in the shortest period of time possible. If one is still looking for a Boston apartment, it would be prudent to find a qualified real estate professional that can provide them with the most accurate real time information possible and show them the largest snap shot of apartments in one showing to help facilitate the best decision making process. There are qualified agents on found the largest real time leasing apartment resource in Boston, www.BostonPads.com.

For landlords that have an apartment still available for Sept 1st, it is time to work with qualified real estate professionals to get the best feedback and pricing options. If you haven’t dropped your price yet this season, what are you waiting for? It is clearly the time to be realistic and acknowledge that there is a reason a property did not rent. Maybe now is the perfect time for upgrades and renovations. It is important to talk with licensed real estate agents to see what is trending out there in terms of top rents and what other landlords have created in their properties that are getting them rented. Possibly your hardwood floors need some sanding or that carpet ripped out? Nearly all properties in the area have switched to hardwood floors matching the latest contemporary styles. Hardwood floor colors and kitchen fit and finish work has also changed quite a bit in the last few years. Maybe you’re missing granite countertops? Perhaps speaking with an agent found on Bostonpads.com can give you the leg up on what is going on with the current marketplace. Whatever the reason is, it may be a good time to drop last month’s rent until the time comes or start offering other incentives. Many groups are still looking for high quality units, and a new kitchen and bathroom with newly sanded hardwood floors could be very appealing for those looking to live in a more updated apartment. You may also want to consider working with companies that can put roommates together to help filling your vacancy.
It is mid-August. The available pool of people looking to move in Boston dramatically dwindles going into the Fall and Winter. Around this time each year the BostonPads.com web traffic decreases significantly as most people have already found a property. Is a landlord serious about getting his place rented? If so, they should listen to feedback from real estate professionals and potential tenants. If a landlord notices both real estate professionals and groups viewing his place recommend certain improvements, they should take note. Landlords should also consider stopping by leading real estate offices that have lots of pictures, videos and virtual tours of apartments in their database so that they can compare their product to others in the marketplace. Professional apartment leasing offices should be able to provide you with rental comparative market rates. Bostonpads.com has an industry leading 33,000 galleries of apartments to draw knowledge of what is available and trending, what rents quickly and what doesn’t. Data Matters.

The last thing a landlord wants is to go vacant. Right now, a Boston Area Landlord needs to come to terms with the fact that his property isn’t going to rent at what they may think it’s worth. With less than two weeks left until the largest move-in day of the year, there probably is a variety of reasons why a property hasn’t rented. Maybe the current tenants are messy or make showings difficult for real estate agents, causing many showings but not any results. Whatever the reason is, a landlord needs to adapt quickly and make some moves within the next week if they expect to rent their property. Negotiate. Take offers. Get on the phone with a real estate professional DAILY to see what’s going on. What price range are real estate agent’s clients working with? Next year landlords can list their property on the market sooner to get the maximum rent potential. Learn what time to strategically list your property in order to get the maximum rent potential.

BostonPads is the largest real time apartment database in MA with over 122,000 apartment listings and approximately 14,995 landlords in the Greater Boston Area. BostonPads works with the most number of landlords in the Boston Massachusetts area. To learn more about the Boston real estate market, explore investment opportunities, check available listings, or get in touch with a qualified agent, visit www.bostonpads.com.

The Greater Boston Real Time Apartment Vacancy Rate is 5.6% as of August 1st, 2014

August 1, 2014: a landmark day in the Greater Boston Real Estate Market. The real time apartment vacancy rate in the Greater Boston Massachusetts area is 5.6% according to the industry leading BostonPads database, which recently hit over 121,953 listings (including luxury). There are a total over 4,350 available apartment units in their real time real estate database that covers Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area. Last year at this time, there were a total of 3,222 available apartment units. The 5.6% is based on analyzing the data of over 71,910 apartment listings. This number includes apartments that are currently on the market and available for rent. However, the real time vacancy rate does not include data gathered from large luxury buildings, as they were purposely omitted to ensure the highest level of accurate real time data.

The Greater Boston apartment market has not been tightening as much as it typically does in July. The 5.6% apartment vacancy rate is much higher than previous years; August 1, 2013 the real time apartment vacancy rate was 3.8%! 5.6% is much higher than anyone could have predicted at the start of this rental season. After record-breaking rents and volume from January to June, it seems that the market has slowed considerably and that many landlords have started paying fees and dropping prices to stay competitive with the market. August will certainly be a busy month for both apartment seekers and landlords because there is still high demand but pricing will vary greatly. It looks like August is going to be a wild rent ride from the way it is shaping up. The BostonPads database continuously gathers data through its network of sites and is the largest real time apartment database in New England.

What does this mean for landlords?

Landlords that have apartments available for 9/1/14 need to realize that it is absolutely time to drop their price and/or speak with a real estate professional that has enough data to accurately price their product in real time. Now is the time to get on the phone and get the best feedback possible on their unit in comparison to other available apartments that are remaining on the market. Many of the larger institutional landlords have started to lower prices and offer incentives (such as dropping last month’s rent, paying the full brokerage fee…). Have you been thinking about renovating for a while? Many groups are still looking for high quality units, and a new kitchen can be very appealing to groups looking to live in a more updated apartment. Real estate professionals at www.bostonapartmentnetwork.com can provide quality feedback and help properly price units left on the market still.

Listen to feedback from real estate professionals and potential tenants. If you notice both real estate professionals and groups viewing your place recommending certain improvements you should take note. The last thing you want as a landlord is to go vacant going into September. Web traffic statistics show that internet traffic searching for apartments can go down by as much as 80% in the fall. At some point, you may have to come to terms with the fact that your property isn’t going to rent at what you may think it’s worth. While your property may actually be worth what you think it is, there can be a variety of reasons why it’s not showing well. Maybe your current tenants are messy or make showings difficult for real estate agents. Whatever the reason is, you need to make sure that you adapt and stay competitive with the marketplace. Get on the phone with a real estate professional weekly to go over best pricing practices. Maybe next year you can list your property on the market sooner and get the maximum rent potential. By consulting with a qualified agent, you can learn what time you should strategically list your property in order to get the maximum rent potential.

What does this mean for apartment seekers?

What this means for apartment seekers in Boston is that the market is still great to find an apartment in certain Greater Boston Areas. If you work with a real estate agency that shows you only one listing and claims “this is it,” run away fast! Consult a BostonPads agent who can show you over 4,350 available listings including luxury! Customers should seek real estate companies that provide you with the most possible viewings of different apartments so that the best choices can be made in the shortest period possible. Gone are the antiquated days of visiting numerous small disparate leasing offices with few listings. We know this can be incredibly time consuming as well as frustrating as lag times will often create lost apartments for the end user. If you are still looking for a Boston apartment, it would be prudent to find a qualified real estate professional that can provide you with the best information possible and show you the most apartments in one large showing to help your decision making process.

Agents at Boardwalk Properties (located at 1518 Tremont Street and 183 Harvard Ave), NextGen Realty (located at 1243 Commonwealth Avenue) and Jacob Realty (located at 279 Newbury Street Suite 200) specialize in all areas throughout the Greater Boston Area as well as MA. These agents can also be found on the Bostonpads.com site, and will be able to provide you with the widest range of information and apartments throughout various areas in MA. This can help you determine sizes and styles that match your criteria. It is also important to work with licensed real estate agent that will familiarize you with the nuances and subtle differences of surrounding areas of Boston. This expertise along with viewing the most number of apartments in the shortest time possible will help you find the best apartment that fits your needs. To find a qualified real estate agent at one of the companies listed above, visit www.bostonpads.com; a leading online real estate information resource.

BostonPads is the largest real time apartment database in MA with over 121,953 apartment listings and more than 14,953 landlords in the Greater Boston Area. BostonPads works with the most number of landlords in the Boston Massachusetts area. To learn more about the Boston real estate market, check available listings, explore investment opportunities, or get in touch with a qualified agent, visit www.bostonpads.com.

Insights From Boston’s Largest Apartment Rental Network

Demetrios Salpoglou was a Boston rental agent as far back as 1995, but it was a hiatus in high tech that provided a skill set that eventually helped him separate a network of Boston rental companies from the typical rental office you see just about everywhere in the city. Today, the CEO of Boardwalk Properties, NextGen Realty and Jacob Realty says his companies have 130 rental agents and operate around 90 rental websites that display a library of 383,000 pictures, 33,000 galleries, 7,000 videos and 1,000 virtual tours. Last year, he told me he wanted it written on his headstone that he cleaned up the rental industry, but more recently I spoke with Demetrios about his company and the current Boston rental market.

Q: How do your offices compare to the typical rental office?
A: It’s an entirely different environment and experience. We’ve made the apartment leasing process much more corporate in nature. It’s much more white-collar, professional, data-driven results instead of, instead of a sort of mom-and-pop shop, guessing at rent prices; what we’ve done is aggregated so much data that we can provide better rental comps and better information to the landlords and to consumers.

Q: How many landlords are in your database?
A: We are 63 landlords away from 15,000 landlords in our database.

Q: How many apartments?
A: 122,000, give or take.

Q: Is your rental database bigger than the MLSPIN rental database?
A: We’re 10 times the size of MLSPIN. Anytime you would look on MLS for rentals and compare it to our database, it’s not even close.

Q: Are you the largest rental company in Boston?
A: Absolutely! We’ve been the largest apartment leasing provider for a decade.

Q: How many apartments will your agents rent in 2014?
A: We are probably on a pace this year to get to 3,000.

Q: How much can a rental agent make?
A: A decent agent is always going to make $50,000 net a year. Every year I always have a rental agent that does over $100,000 – net – in their pocket.

Q: How important is Sept. 1 in the Boston market?
A: We took a sample of 10,000 leases that we’ve done and 66 percent of all leases roll over on Aug. 31. So you literally have two-thirds of the entire city moving in one day.

Q: Can you give me some insights on recent rent trends in Boston neighborhoods?
A: Allston rents have been flat for at least the past seven years. Mission Hill rents have been exceptional and continue to climb. Everything there is, generally speaking, a lot newer. … The Fort Hill market is trending up. Certain parts of Dudley are starting to get some good rents. South Boston has been white-hot the whole decade and has done nothing but go up.

Q: Have Hub rents peaked?
A: The beginning of the year was bang-up; rents were up big. I thought it was going to be a 10 percent year, but we’ll see in the next 30 days how it plays out. I’m thinking its going to cap out at maybe an 8 percent increase, depending on how much vacancy we are left with on Sept. 1; then we’ll be able to tell if it flatlines.

Q: Your company determines a real time vacancy rate in the city. What is the rate now?
A: Right now we are at 6.2 percent vacancy level. When I checked [on the morning of Friday, July 18], we had 4,447 apartments available. Even though that’s high compared to last year, we still have a month to go.

Q: If you were going to advise someone buying an investment condo or three-family, what would you say?
A: Knowing what the real rents are in an area are the most important aspects of renting or purchasing a multifamily. If you don’t know the rents, or can’t get those rents, or can’t position that property properly, then you’re not going to do as well as you should. For example, we had a landlord drop his price $1,500 a month recently; my agents kept telling him he was too high and had missed the market.

Q: What insights do you get from the Internet?
A: I can view the web traffic and get web stats and watch different areas light up. You can put up stuff and know that South Boston is going to be hot or that Cambridge is going to be hot. I’ll send out an alert to all the agents: “It’s going to be a hot weekend in Cambridge!” And then you get like seven or eight deals in Cambridge.

Q: What’s different about today’s apartment-seeker?
A: They are much more deal-specific and transportation-specific, and so much more educated than the one we had even five years ago. Access to good public transportation within 12 minutes is a good determinant if it’s going to be easier to rent or a lot harder.

David Bates is a broker with William Raveis Real Estate and author of The Bates Real Estate Blog, www.BatesRealEstateReport.com, and a recently published e-book, “Context: Nine Key Condo Markets, 2.0.”

Article courtesy of Banker & Tradesman Bates Report, http://www.bankerandtradesman.com/news160485.html