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Boston's Rental Market Bouncing Back, Prices This Year Could 'Break The Records'

BOSTON (CBS) -- The Boston rental market is bouncing back.

"99 percent of apartments in Boston are occupied," said Boston Pads CEO Demetrios Salpoglou. "We've changed quite a bit since one year ago. We went from record availabilities and record vacancies to an incredibly tight market right now."

This year may bring prices renters have never seen before.

"I think we're going to break the records in terms of pricing, rental pricing, three beds, four beds, and five beds for sure, and possibly studios, one beds, two beds," said Salpoglou.

And while the high numbers may be the subject of jokes on social media, with Boston resident Jonathan Berk sharing this tweet about the price of an igloo in Bay Village, it's no laughing matter for renters.

"The inventory's dropping, so there's not a lot of availability," said Boston Pads real estate professional Andrew Pitsious. "So it's just creating that sense of urgency that we might look at a place today on a Friday, and it might be rented by Saturday."

"We're seeing the average five bedroom is $4,593. four bedroom is $3,788, three bedroom is $3,101," said Salpoglou.

Boston Pads compiles data from nearly 190,000 listings in Greater Boston, and Salpoglou explains a number of factors are contributing to rising prices, including a disrupted supply chain.

"Because of COVID, what we saw was a slow down in construction and the ability to bring more apartments to the marketplace," said Salpoglou.

When looking at median one bedroom rates in the U.S., according to a national rent report by Zumper, at this rate Boston is on track to pass San Francisco as the second most expensive city in the country.

"It wouldn't surprise me at all. We're not building enough units in Boston to keep pace with job and population growth in the area," said Salpoglou.

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