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'Historically Unheard Of' Low Rents, High Incentives For Boston Area Apartments

BOSTON (CBS) - For the first time in a long time, it's good to be a renter in Boston and surrounding cities.

CEO of Boston Pads Demetrios Salpoglou said, "In theory for certain apartments you could put down as little as moving in with one month's rent to get in and that's historically unheard of in Boston."

Over the last year, the rental market has been greatly affected by the pandemic.

"Any place you had a high student population or a high concentration of corporate relocation, short term rentals, Airbnbs, a lot of that was decimated," said Salpoglou.

That's contributed to incentives for tenants, like free months of rent, price reductions, and no broker's fee.

Gabriel Bonilla is an agent with Douglas Paul Real Estate in Cambridge.

"Normally it will be rent times three plus a broker's fee to move in to a unit to get a lease signed. Some landlords are like 'you know what, we can delay that,'" he told WBZ-TV.

One of his clients is Haley Euting, who recently signed a lease for an apartment in the South End.

"I had no broker's fee and no security deposit due," she said.

Another one of Bonilla's clients, Andrea Salazar, recently found a place in Somerville for September 1. Salazar has a dog and wanted a parking spot, so initially she wasn't sure what the inventory would be like.

"The rent was much lower than I think it would've been normally and I think definitely on the pet issue the landlords were more willing to play ball with that," she told WBZ.

According to Zumper, the average rent price for a one bedroom in Boston is down 16-percent compared to last year.

"This is a great market for the renters, the best we've ever seen. And the conditions of the units are better than ever because landlords are putting in the money and making them look great," said Salpoglou.

But the million dollar question is how long will it last?

"I think it's going to be a tenants' market for a while, and we all see the numbers behind that. At the same time, inventory is not going to be in the tenants' favor," said Bonilla.

"I think now is the time to grab an apartment because two or three months from now a lot of these incentives will probably evaporate," said Salpoglou.

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