The Greater Boston Real Time Apartment Vacancy Rate is 5.6% as of August 1st, 2014

August 1, 2014: a landmark day in the Greater Boston Real Estate Market. The real time apartment vacancy rate in the Greater Boston Massachusetts area is 5.6% according to the industry leading BostonPads database, which recently hit over 121,953 listings (including luxury). There are a total over 4,350 available apartment units in their real time real estate database that covers Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area. Last year at this time, there were a total of 3,222 available apartment units. The 5.6% is based on analyzing the data of over 71,910 apartment listings. This number includes apartments that are currently on the market and available for rent. However, the real time vacancy rate does not include data gathered from large luxury buildings, as they were purposely omitted to ensure the highest level of accurate real time data.

The Greater Boston apartment market has not been tightening as much as it typically does in July. The 5.6% apartment vacancy rate is much higher than previous years; August 1, 2013 the real time apartment vacancy rate was 3.8%! 5.6% is much higher than anyone could have predicted at the start of this rental season. After record-breaking rents and volume from January to June, it seems that the market has slowed considerably and that many landlords have started paying fees and dropping prices to stay competitive with the market. August will certainly be a busy month for both apartment seekers and landlords because there is still high demand but pricing will vary greatly. It looks like August is going to be a wild rent ride from the way it is shaping up. The BostonPads database continuously gathers data through its network of sites and is the largest real time apartment database in New England.

What does this mean for landlords?

Landlords that have apartments available for 9/1/14 need to realize that it is absolutely time to drop their price and/or speak with a real estate professional that has enough data to accurately price their product in real time. Now is the time to get on the phone and get the best feedback possible on their unit in comparison to other available apartments that are remaining on the market. Many of the larger institutional landlords have started to lower prices and offer incentives (such as dropping last month’s rent, paying the full brokerage fee…). Have you been thinking about renovating for a while? Many groups are still looking for high quality units, and a new kitchen can be very appealing to groups looking to live in a more updated apartment. Real estate professionals at www.bostonapartmentnetwork.com can provide quality feedback and help properly price units left on the market still.

Listen to feedback from real estate professionals and potential tenants. If you notice both real estate professionals and groups viewing your place recommending certain improvements you should take note. The last thing you want as a landlord is to go vacant going into September. Web traffic statistics show that internet traffic searching for apartments can go down by as much as 80% in the fall. At some point, you may have to come to terms with the fact that your property isn’t going to rent at what you may think it’s worth. While your property may actually be worth what you think it is, there can be a variety of reasons why it’s not showing well. Maybe your current tenants are messy or make showings difficult for real estate agents. Whatever the reason is, you need to make sure that you adapt and stay competitive with the marketplace. Get on the phone with a real estate professional weekly to go over best pricing practices. Maybe next year you can list your property on the market sooner and get the maximum rent potential. By consulting with a qualified agent, you can learn what time you should strategically list your property in order to get the maximum rent potential.

What does this mean for apartment seekers?

What this means for apartment seekers in Boston is that the market is still great to find an apartment in certain Greater Boston Areas. If you work with a real estate agency that shows you only one listing and claims “this is it,” run away fast! Consult a BostonPads agent who can show you over 4,350 available listings including luxury! Customers should seek real estate companies that provide you with the most possible viewings of different apartments so that the best choices can be made in the shortest period possible. Gone are the antiquated days of visiting numerous small disparate leasing offices with few listings. We know this can be incredibly time consuming as well as frustrating as lag times will often create lost apartments for the end user. If you are still looking for a Boston apartment, it would be prudent to find a qualified real estate professional that can provide you with the best information possible and show you the most apartments in one large showing to help your decision making process.

Agents at Boardwalk Properties (located at 1518 Tremont Street and 183 Harvard Ave), NextGen Realty (located at 1243 Commonwealth Avenue) and Jacob Realty (located at 279 Newbury Street Suite 200) specialize in all areas throughout the Greater Boston Area as well as MA. These agents can also be found on the Bostonpads.com site, and will be able to provide you with the widest range of information and apartments throughout various areas in MA. This can help you determine sizes and styles that match your criteria. It is also important to work with licensed real estate agent that will familiarize you with the nuances and subtle differences of surrounding areas of Boston. This expertise along with viewing the most number of apartments in the shortest time possible will help you find the best apartment that fits your needs. To find a qualified real estate agent at one of the companies listed above, visit www.bostonpads.com; a leading online real estate information resource.

BostonPads is the largest real time apartment database in MA with over 121,953 apartment listings and more than 14,953 landlords in the Greater Boston Area. BostonPads works with the most number of landlords in the Boston Massachusetts area. To learn more about the Boston real estate market, check available listings, explore investment opportunities, or get in touch with a qualified agent, visit www.bostonpads.com.

Insights From Boston’s Largest Apartment Rental Network

Demetrios Salpoglou was a Boston rental agent as far back as 1995, but it was a hiatus in high tech that provided a skill set that eventually helped him separate a network of Boston rental companies from the typical rental office you see just about everywhere in the city. Today, the CEO of Boardwalk Properties, NextGen Realty and Jacob Realty says his companies have 130 rental agents and operate around 90 rental websites that display a library of 383,000 pictures, 33,000 galleries, 7,000 videos and 1,000 virtual tours. Last year, he told me he wanted it written on his headstone that he cleaned up the rental industry, but more recently I spoke with Demetrios about his company and the current Boston rental market.

Q: How do your offices compare to the typical rental office?
A: It’s an entirely different environment and experience. We’ve made the apartment leasing process much more corporate in nature. It’s much more white-collar, professional, data-driven results instead of, instead of a sort of mom-and-pop shop, guessing at rent prices; what we’ve done is aggregated so much data that we can provide better rental comps and better information to the landlords and to consumers.

Q: How many landlords are in your database?
A: We are 63 landlords away from 15,000 landlords in our database.

Q: How many apartments?
A: 122,000, give or take.

Q: Is your rental database bigger than the MLSPIN rental database?
A: We’re 10 times the size of MLSPIN. Anytime you would look on MLS for rentals and compare it to our database, it’s not even close.

Q: Are you the largest rental company in Boston?
A: Absolutely! We’ve been the largest apartment leasing provider for a decade.

Q: How many apartments will your agents rent in 2014?
A: We are probably on a pace this year to get to 3,000.

Q: How much can a rental agent make?
A: A decent agent is always going to make $50,000 net a year. Every year I always have a rental agent that does over $100,000 – net – in their pocket.

Q: How important is Sept. 1 in the Boston market?
A: We took a sample of 10,000 leases that we’ve done and 66 percent of all leases roll over on Aug. 31. So you literally have two-thirds of the entire city moving in one day.

Q: Can you give me some insights on recent rent trends in Boston neighborhoods?
A: Allston rents have been flat for at least the past seven years. Mission Hill rents have been exceptional and continue to climb. Everything there is, generally speaking, a lot newer. … The Fort Hill market is trending up. Certain parts of Dudley are starting to get some good rents. South Boston has been white-hot the whole decade and has done nothing but go up.

Q: Have Hub rents peaked?
A: The beginning of the year was bang-up; rents were up big. I thought it was going to be a 10 percent year, but we’ll see in the next 30 days how it plays out. I’m thinking its going to cap out at maybe an 8 percent increase, depending on how much vacancy we are left with on Sept. 1; then we’ll be able to tell if it flatlines.

Q: Your company determines a real time vacancy rate in the city. What is the rate now?
A: Right now we are at 6.2 percent vacancy level. When I checked [on the morning of Friday, July 18], we had 4,447 apartments available. Even though that’s high compared to last year, we still have a month to go.

Q: If you were going to advise someone buying an investment condo or three-family, what would you say?
A: Knowing what the real rents are in an area are the most important aspects of renting or purchasing a multifamily. If you don’t know the rents, or can’t get those rents, or can’t position that property properly, then you’re not going to do as well as you should. For example, we had a landlord drop his price $1,500 a month recently; my agents kept telling him he was too high and had missed the market.

Q: What insights do you get from the Internet?
A: I can view the web traffic and get web stats and watch different areas light up. You can put up stuff and know that South Boston is going to be hot or that Cambridge is going to be hot. I’ll send out an alert to all the agents: “It’s going to be a hot weekend in Cambridge!” And then you get like seven or eight deals in Cambridge.

Q: What’s different about today’s apartment-seeker?
A: They are much more deal-specific and transportation-specific, and so much more educated than the one we had even five years ago. Access to good public transportation within 12 minutes is a good determinant if it’s going to be easier to rent or a lot harder.

David Bates is a broker with William Raveis Real Estate and author of The Bates Real Estate Blog, www.BatesRealEstateReport.com, and a recently published e-book, “Context: Nine Key Condo Markets, 2.0.”

Article courtesy of Banker & Tradesman Bates Report, http://www.bankerandtradesman.com/news160485.html

The Porter/Davis Square in Cambridge/Somerville Real Time Apartment Vacancy Rate is 4.14% as of May 7th, 2014

Spring has sprung in Boston and Boston residents are out in full force enjoying the beautiful weather. What’s not springing up is much in the way of new apartment listings for those looking to make a move. If you’re looking to relocate to the Porter or Davis square area of Cambridge and Somerville, you’ll be interested in knowing that the real time vacancy rate for these areas is currently sitting at 4.14% This figure comes from an analysis provided by BostonPads.com – the largest real time apartment rental database in New England. At the moment, BostonPads.com has over 121,000 apartment listings in the Greater Boston Area. Of these 121,000+ listings, 1,256 of them are in Porter/Davis Square. There are 52 apartments currently listed as available in Porter/Davis. In other words, there are 47 properties that are vacant now or available to be rented between now and September 1st. This gives Porter and Davis Square a vacancy rate of 4.17%. For comparison, the overall vacancy rate of Greater Boston is 6.4%.

Porter square is located north of Boston and occupies both the cities of Cambridge and Somerville. Davis Square is located just above Porter Square and occupies Somerville exclusively. If you follow Mass Ave up through Cambridge you’ll eventually come to intersection of Somerville Ave. This area filled with shops, bars, small businesses, galleries is known at Porter Square. Keep heading north towards Winchester and you’ll find yourself in a major intersection of Holland Street, Dover Street, Day Street, Elm Street, Highland Ave and College Ave. This vibrant space filled with commercial, retail, nightlife and dining options is known as Davis Square. The types of housing you’ll most typically run see here includes privately owned homes, condos and professionally managed buildings.

In 1984, the area got a huge boost when the Red line was extended from Harvard to reach through Porter all the way up to Alewife Station. The Porter Square Station also serves as a stop on the Commuter Rail Fitchburg Line. During a period between 2004-2006 Porter square went under a huge renovation project to make it friendlier for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit commuters alike. It also got a major aesthetic overhaul that added a new circular design layout abutted by concrete paving, stone walls and selectively places boulders. A major portion of Lesley University sits on the southern portion of Porter Square, providing the neighborhood with a modest college population.

Davis Square is also served by its own stop on the MBTA Red line. The surrounding areas include Porter Square, Powder House Square, Magoun Square, Spring Hill and Tufts University. With its 10,000+ students, Tufts definitely fuels the Somerville area population and gives it a University town feel. In 1982, The MBTA developed a central plaza linking station entrance buildings or the Boston and Maine Railroads. The plaza was designed to serve as the center of Davis Square, a gathering place and center for activities and entertainment. The plaza and the station were both eligible for state percent-for-art moneys. This meant that one percent of the cost of constructing the new station entrances was used to commission several figurative sculptures, including the Davis Square statues. This new development marked a major shift for the Somerville neighborhood. Somerville has now moved away from its affordable working-class roots and now contains some of the priciest homes in eastern Massachusetts.

Porter Square is full of shopping and dining options for those looking to explore what the neighborhood has to offer. The Porter Square shopping center is a hub consisting of two large buildings connected by an ample parking lot. The main building houses shopping staples including a Shaw’s, Ace Hardware, multiple cafes, Dunkin Donuts and Panera Bread. The Mega CVS building has an Emack and Bolios Ice Cream, Healthworks gym, and several art galleries. Adjacent to the Porter Square shopping center is the Porter Square Galleria, which offers patrons an Anna’s Taqueria, Pizza Pie-er and a Walgreens. Porter Square also has a number of delicious independent dining options such as Rod Dee, Bluefin, Masa’s Sushi Bar, and the Tavern in the Square. Head over to the Newtowne Grille for the best deal in Porter – a pitcher of beer and a large pizza for $11

Not to be outdone by their neighbor to the South, Davis square also boasts its fair share of arts, culture, dining and shopping options encompassing over 200 businesses. Some of the must-visits include the Somerville Theatre, The Rosebud diner, McKinnon’s Meat Market, and the Somerville candlepin bowling alley. The Somerville theatre offers its guests an array of entertainment including movies, live performances and a gallery of bad art. You read that right – a gallery of bad art whose mission statement is “to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum”. Davis square also plays host to several festivals during the year, including HONK! which showcases a number of traveling brass bands.

Having a knowledgeable local real estate agent on your side with exclusive listings in the Davis/Porter Square region can do wonders for making your making your apartment search successful. With databases controlling massive amounts of listings and abundant landlord relationships at their disposal, realtors have the ability to find you the perfect mix of quality, value and location in your new home. To find a qualified Real Estate Professional in Cambridge or Somerville consider visiting www.cambridgepads.com or www.somervillepads.com – these are the leading local real estate websites containing thousands of beautiful apartments. Also you can check out the Cambridge and Somerville Facebook pages at http://www.facebook.com/somerville.boston.apartments and http://www.facebook.com/cambridge.apartment