The Boston housing market has gone through unexpected changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The local rental market has in large part returned to normal, but not without experiencing an 18 month span of diminished and shifting renter demand. If we look at the Brookline, one of Boston’s most famous suburbs, we can see a dramatic shift from soaring vacancies in Fall of 2020 to a complete turnaround and resurgence in renter demand. Looking at availability rates for Brookline apartments, we see a dramatic decrease of -80.85% YOY. The real time availability rate of apartments in Brookline is currently 1.70%.
When compared to the availability rates of apartments in the city of Boston and also its neighboring towns, there are not a lot of Brookline apartments available for occupancy in comparison. In fact, Boston and its suburbs have higher real time availability rates of 2.02% and 2.23% respectively.
The highest real-time availability rate of apartments in Metro Boston is currently in Medford (4.07%). Next highest availability rate is reported by Salem, which is 3.49%. Brookline has one of the lowest real time availability rates of apartments in the suburbs. The lowest is Arlington at 0.42%, followed by Waltham at 0.82%. To calculate the availability rates, we need to add up all the vacant apartments and the available apartments which are yet to be vacated. This number is then divided by the total supply of apartments in Brookline to obtain the value of availability rates in the region.
Similarly, to calculate the vacancy rate of apartments in Brookline, we have to divide the total number of vacant apartments by the total supply of apartments in the area. Currently, the vacancy rate of Brookline apartments is 1.34%. This is not just lower than the real time vacancy rates of Boston city (1.57%) and its suburbs (1.63%), but also lower than several other towns. The highest vacancy rate of apartments is reported in Belmont at 3.08%.
When compared to last year, the RTVR% has increased by +71.79%. This is the fourth highest rise in the vacancy rates after Melrose, Belmont, and Watertown, which have witnessed a YOY change of +233.33%, +190.27%, and +127.59% respectively. The RTVR change % of apartments in Boston has increased by +3.97% and in the suburbs, it has increased by +21.64%. So it appears that after a year and a half of uncertainty, the apartment rental market in Brookline has made a full turnaround.