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A comprehensive overview of Boston's housing market for homeowners and renters in 2023

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Real estate
Buying a home
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A comprehensive overview of Boston's housing market for homeowners and renters in 2023
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Whether you're looking to invest in a home or are interested in living in Boston, Massachusetts, this overview will help you understand the Boston housing market at a glance.

This blog post provides a comprehensive overview of the Boston real estate market, population demographics, housing stock, rental market trends, economy, and employment statistics.

We’ll also highlight recent Boston real estate trends and property management statistics to give you an informed snapshot of the Boston rental market. With up-to-date and accurate information, buyers and investors can make informed decisions when considering the Boston real estate market.

    Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest and most iconic cities in the United States. The rich academic and cultural heritage is a defining factor of the Boston housing market.

Boston is the largest city in Massachusetts, between Middlesex County and Suffolk County, and is a thriving hub for business, culture, education, and history. Boasting countless universities and colleges, Boston is renowned as a global hub for higher education.

Boston offers an attractive and vibrant housing market with plenty of options for buyers, renters, and real estate investors. By researching the city's population demographics, housing stock, rental market trends, economy, employment statistics, and up-to-date Boston real estate trends, you can make more informed decisions about buying or renting in the Boston real estate market.

As we enter 2023, the Boston housing market and Boston rental market continue to experience some appreciation, particularly for single-family homes in areas with limited availability. However, many parts of the market are experiencing stagnant or already peaked home values over recent months due to a decrease in buyer population, higher interest rates, and fewer competing offers.

The culture and lifestyle of Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is known for its rich history and vibrant culture. Founded in 1630, it was America's first major city and played a vital role in the American Revolution. It has since become one of the most important cities in the U.S., with several top universities within its boundaries and architecture that documents American history.

It is also known for its world-class sports teams, notably the Red Sox and Celtics. Every year, millions of tourists visit Boston to explore its culture, history, and attractions, such as Fenway Park and the Freedom Trail. Boston has beautiful green spaces like the famous Boston Common, including large public parks, lakes, and other green areas.

Boston is a central location for traveling throughout Northeast America. Many day trip options exist, and New York City is accessible by car. In addition, Boston has excellent public transportation, allowing you to travel conveniently via the subway without needing to own a car.

U.S. News ranks Boston, Massachusetts, as #18 in Best Places to Live, #7 in Best Places to Live for Quality of Life, and #13 in Safest Places to live. The Boston real estate market and Boston rental market is extremely well rounded, offering a simultaneously unique and convenient lifestyle for its residents. We believe the Boston housing market will remain strong as the Boston real estate trends continue to indicate growth and sustainable expansion.

    "Boston is just a village, sprawling far and wide, more human than New York City." – Frederick Engels

Boston population demographics

According to data from Macrotrends, The Boston metropolitan area is flourishing, with a 2023 population of 4.34 million in the Greater Boston Area and around 700,000 in Boston City, which marks a 0.39% growth since 2022.

This city has an interesting blend of Boston rental market and homeownership opportunities.

According to the U.S. Census from 2020-2022, Boston had a relatively high rate of renters compared to homeowners. It's estimated that approximately 65% of Boston's residents are renters, while around 35% are homeowners.

Boston, Massachusetts is home to various ethnicities and religions, with an estimated

  • 40 percent identifying as white
  • 24 percent Latino/Hispanic
  • 22 percent African American
  • 8 percent Asian/Pacific Islander
  • and 2 percent Native American/Alaskan Native.

The city comprises a diverse mix of ethnic backgrounds and cultures, with people from all walks of life contributing to its vibrant atmosphere.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau gathered from 2017 to 2021, the average household income in Boston is 81,744 (in 2021 dollars), with a poverty rate of 7.6%.

The average age in Boston is 32.4 years, 32 years for males and 32.8 years for females.

Women comprise 51 percent of the population, while men comprise 49 percent.

Boston housing market

With abundant students and instructors at all educational levels, Boston is an obvious choice for savvy investors seeking rental properties. An apartment, condo, or single-family home in the Boston real estate market will never lack interest from tenants.

According to World Population Review, the rate of home ownership in 2023 is 35.3%. Boston has many single-family houses, condos, townhouses, and high-rise apartment buildings. According to Zillow data, single-family homes makeup roughly 60% of properties on the market, while apartments/condos account for 28%, townhouses 9%, and multi-family homes 3%. The majority of neighborhoods in Boston offer a mix of single-family homes and multi-family dwellings.

According to, the median listing home price in Boston, MA, was $799K as of December 2022, trending up 3.9% year-over-year. The median listing home price per square foot was $760. The median home sold price was $680K. For more detailed Boston housing market pricing trends, visit this Norada Real Estate Investment pricing forecast.

The Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® has reported that condominiums saw a 14 percent decline in their median selling price since April 2022's all-time peak at $715,000.

Home values have steadily increased since 2014 due to high demand and limited housing supply. To keep up with rapid population growth in the past years, Boston attempted to rapidly expand housing with plans for 30,000 new housing units in 2020.

It's important to note that housing costs in Boston can vary significantly by neighborhood. Depending on the area of the Boston rental market, rent prices can vary significantly too. We'll be creating a guide soon on some of the best neighborhoods to invest in as you're doing more research on Boston. Be sure to look at the median values for each Boston neighborhood before making an offer on a home.

Before deciding to buy into the Boston housing market, it is crucial to research Boston real estate trends and ensure that you understand the local market conditions. Additionally, you should consult an experienced real estate agent who can provide expert advice on buying or investing in the Boston market.

This article by Norada Real Estate has excellent insights and statistics on Boston's housing market for further reading and research.

Boston rental market trends

The rental market in Boston is strong and stable, with vacancy rates at a low 5.5%. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Boston is $1,941, while two bedrooms average around $2,391 per month.

According to 2019 Zillow data, the median rent price is $2,500 per month. Over the past year, rents have increased by a modest 2%.

Some upcoming variables could impact rents in the Boston housing market 2023, such as layoffs, recession, and more people returning to the office for work.

    Overall, Boston's housing market is healthy and vibrant, offering plenty of options for buyers, renters, and investors.

View Doorstead’s recent roundup of the 8 best neighborhoods to live and rent in Boston.

Boston economy and employment demographics

Boston has one of the strongest economies in the United States, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $444 billion in 2021, according to Statista.

Average salaries are higher than average due to the high demand for skilled workers – average salaries stand at approximately $94K annually, according to Average Salary Survey in 2023.

As a hub of education, healthcare, and technology, Boston stands out among cities with its low unemployment rate of 3.2 percent - significantly lower than the national average. The city offers excellent potential for job seekers across disciplines. Reaping the benefits from these high-growth sectors has helped create an abundance of opportunity in this vibrant city, keeping the value of the Boston housing market, and consequently the Boston rental market, consistent and relatively high throughout the years.

Boston is the premier destination for entrepreneurs. It consistently ranks as one of the top startup cities due to its bountiful resources of highly-skilled employees provided by many world-renowned universities. Many professionals specialize in medicine, finance, and biotech industries.

Although many are still migrating away from city centers due to remote work, the Boston job market remains strong and resilient. The average commute time in Boston is just under 30 minutes, making it a convenient place to work. With the persistent emergence of new job opportunities, Boston will keep welcoming more inhabitants and retain its current residents. A consistently strong economy shows a positive impact on Boston real estate trends.

With its ever-expanding life science hub driving a steady workforce back into the area, combined with a booming multi-family development pipeline that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, investors have an optimistic outlook toward what awaits in the future of the Boston rental market.

Property management statistics for the Boston housing market

Property management firms can provide various services, including lease negotiations, tenant screening, and rent collection. In addition, property managers offer specialized expertise in facilities management and energy efficiency, which can help property owners maximize their investments in the Boston real estate market.

According to IBISWorld, the number of property management businesses in Massachusetts rose by an impressive 2.5% from 2022 to 2023, leaving us with 7,317 companies throughout the state.

Over the past five years, the property management industry in Massachusetts has experienced an annual growth rate of 2.5%, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in both the U.S. and international markets. As a result of a strong Boston rental market, more property management businesses will likely enter this competitive space. See our comprehensive guide to property management and our advice on how to find the right property manager. In a competitive market that is full of opportunity, we believe it’s essential to work with property managers who understand Boston real estate trends and local conditions. See the top four residential rental property management challenges we’ve identified for Massachusetts, and consider if your property manager has experience navigating these.

Boston property managers typically charge an annual fee covering all services provided throughout the year, such as maintenance requests and dealing with tenants directly. (Learn more about the different property management fees you’ll encounter.) Property management fees in Boston can skew higher than in the rest of the nation because of the challenging weather and seasonal conditions of the Boston housing market.

The average cost of a property manager is typically around 8-12% of the monthly rent for a single-family home, with additional fees for larger properties. Some property managers offer discounts for long-term contracts or other services such as tenant screening or collecting rent payments online via credit card or bank transfer.

If you're considering hiring a property management service instead of self-managing your home in Boston, Doorstead is a convenient property management service loved by hundreds across America. We manage many homes in the Boston rental market. You can learn about the process of working with Doorstead, read testimonials from our homeowners, or enter your property address to get an initial assessment from Doorstead.

A strong outlook for the Boston real estate market in 2023 and beyond

The Boston housing market and the Boston rental market are one of the most vibrant and diverse in the United States. Boston real estate trends show that the city continuously attracts buyers, renters, and investors of all backgrounds and budgets.

Boston's vibrant location appeals to buyers and renters looking for their dream homes and investors looking for solid investment returns. With its diverse population and culture, robust economy, and substantial employment opportunities, it's no wonder why so many people want to live here.

Understanding the local trends of the Boston real estate market is essential if you're looking either buy or rent property here. We hope this comprehensive overview has helped give you more insight into this popular region of Massachusetts.

Did you find this article helpful on the Boston housing market helpful? If so, please share it with your friends or family! Is there anything we should have included or remembered to mention? Have ideas for collaborating on an article? Please email [email protected], and we'd love to discuss your ideas.

And if you're looking for more helpful tips on property management in Boston or Boston real estate trends, be sure to visit our blog.

Ally Gong
Ally Gong
Content Specialist

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