It’s the perfect storm for landlords. There’s a down economy. Companies are forgoing relocations to save money, and in the past few years several new rental buildings have popped up creating a market flush with vacant apartments.
Leasing an apartment in Boston is still expensive compared to many other cities in the U.S., but perspective renters are in luck because many of the newer buildings are offering incentives. These include free rent for a month, thousands back on leasing deals and monthly specials.
“The amount of supply people have to choose from far exceeds what there was a few years ago.
There are more than several new buildings,” said Kristy Ganong, director of residential leasing at Boston Realty Advisors. “And, many condominiums are converting to rentals because they can’t sell them.”
Just in the past few years, several high-end apartment buildings have opened their doors to renters including Archstone Boston Common, Archstone Avenir, Trilogy, 1330 Boylston and Harborview in Charlestown.
Right now, Archstone Avenir is trying to lure one-bedroom renters between Nov. 15 and Nov. 30 by offering $5,000 back over their lease term. An advertisement on the 1330 Boylston Web site flashes limited time specials for two-bedroom renters, and Archstone Boston Common is giving away $3,000 “gift cards” to people who lease select three-bedrooms.
“Based on the amount of incentives they are giving out it’s a sure sign of the availability out there,” said Ganong. “If the building only had three units available they aren’t going to give three months rent.”
Despite the rental supply, many of these units are still pricey, and Boston isn’t getting any cheaper. According to The Greater Boston Housing Report Card 2009, renters in the region pay 11 percent more today than four years ago.