2021 Somerville MA Rental Market Report

Somerville happens to be New England’s most densely populated municipality.  As Boston has grown over the past few decades, Somerville rapidly ascended to be one of Boston’s best suburbs to live given its close proximity to Boston and Cambridge. As a result, demand for Somerville apartments has outpaced that of most suburban rental markets throughout most of 2021.  However, recent data suggests that the pandemic has brought about a notable change in Somerville’s apartment rental market.

Average Rent Prices in Somerville MA

The average rent price for apartments in Somerville currently stands at $2,635.  That makes Somerville 1 of 3 suburbs where the average rent price is higher than that of Boston ($2,594).  While the average rent price of 1 bedroom apartments is presently at $1,996, 2 bedroom apartments are available for an average price of $2,211. The average rent price of 3 bedroom, 4 bedroom and 5 bedroom apartments is $2,983, $3,843 and $4,534 respectively.

The average YOY change in the average rent price of Somerville is +0.19%. When we take standalone figures into account, we realize the rental market for 3 bedroom, 4 bedroom and 5 bedroom apartments in Somerville has stabilized but the demand for 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom apartments has gone down. The recent rent price figures serve as a testimony to this statement. The demand for studio apartments seems to have picked up which is reflected in the YOY average studio rent hike of +6.89%.

While Somerville’s average rent price for 3 bedroom, 4 bedroom and 5 bedroom apartments have increased by +2.12%, +2.02% and +0.29% respectively, the average rent prices of 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom rentals have dropped by -1.14% and -0.42% respectively. Compared to Boston apartments, the average rent price in Somerville is marginally high. In Boston, the overall average rent price figure stands at $2,594. In Somerville, the average rent price is $2,635.  Prices will likely stay flat in Somerville going into 2022 until the market absorbs some of the excess rental supply.

Somerville’s Apartment Supply Recovery Slows in Q4

While the real time availability rate has dropped considerably in Somerville, it hasn’t recovered as much as in the inner parts of Boston more recently.  The current apartment availability rate is 1.97% while the real time vacancy rate is 1.32%. When compared to last December, the real time availability rate has dropped by -59.55% which signifies an increase in demand for rental properties in Somerville this year. The real time vacancy rate has also registered a large YOY drop (-65.71%).

This has erased most of the inflated supply that was rampant during the first half of this year and Q4 2020.  Even so, Somerville’s apartment availability and vacancies are still up +53.91% and +28.16% respectively from their pre-COVID levels of December of 2019.  This trend has emerged only in the past few months, as Somerville’s supply inflation was significantly less than Boston’s throughout most of the remote learning phase of the pandemic.  Simultaneously, rental supply figures in the city’s inner markets have hit all-time lows since September, indicating that demand for suburban housing has not kept up with Boston since students came back to town.