Rents are higher than they have ever been in Boston, and there are a couple of reasons.
"We're coming out of COVID," said Melvin Viera Jr., president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.
According to Rent.com the average cost of a studio in Boston is $3,056, up 16% from a year ago. A 1-bedroom averages $3,936, up 14%, and a 2-bedroom is $4,799, up 6%.
But now, COVID is fading, and Viera says that has people thinking.
"People are starting to realize that, 'Hey, can I live back in the city again.' Also, we have a lot of colleges, as well. So you have that pressuring demand," he said.
Cambridge City Councilor Burhan Azeem has lived both ends of this. As NBC10 Boston reported last month, he struggled to find an apartment he could afford in Cambridge, where the vacancy rate is 1%.
"Rents were going up. You would apply to a place, and in 30 minutes, they would have enough applicants and shut down. You would show up to the place and they would be like, 'Well, the last renter actually offered to pay $100 a month extra just to get this closed down. Is that something you can do?'" Azeem said.
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It's quite a contrast to what he dealt with apartment hunting during COVID-19.
"You would go to a place and they would offer you a one month free rent, two months free rent," he recalled. "The place I got, we were able to negotiate down and pay $3,000 less that we would have previously because of the time during COVID.
Azeem is now paying $1,000 a month with three roommates.