COVID-19 Expected to Slow Rental Market for 3 to 6 Months RENTCafé searches fall 25% in one week as renter priorities shift and a “technical recession” takes hold. Housing rights advocates in Boston said the months leading up to September are typically a time when some landlords try to get rid of non-paying tenants to make way for college students. "Extra little add-ons that are really reflecting higher vacancy rates than normal," Clark said. On a Monday evening in the last full week of August, a landlord held an open house for a two-bedroom condo rental in Dorchester. Landlords are adapting to the new environment with the help of technology. There's a bill making its way through the state legislature that would attempt to stabilize the rental market post-COVID-19. Sept. 1 is traditionally Boston’s busiest moving day, but will that still hold true in the age of COVID-19? A recent Census survey indicated one in three Massachusetts renters are unable to pay their rent. But if it’s not that intense a drop, then landlords may just wait a month or two before deciding to raise rents.”. ERMA - Emergency Rent and Mortgage Assistance. Thankfully the virus doesn’t seem to have impacted anyone’s fall plans yet — or perhaps they are being cautiously optimistic.”, Right now, moving is at a standstill, said Chris Salviati, a housing economist at, “Rental-housing operators with the tech capabilities to offer virtual tours and remote leasing will be ahead of the curve, as they’ll be able to offer tremendous value to apartment seekers who want to have as little in-person interaction as they seek a new home,” said Chase Harrington, president of. Priscilla Flint-Banks holds a photograph of her 87-year-old mother, Ruby Mae Kinney, who died during April of COVID-19, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. Leases for a September move-in are traditionally signed later in the year, said Michelle Bleau, a development manager with, Subscribe to the Globe’s free real estate newsletter — our weekly digest on buying, selling, and design — at, pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp, How to protect yourself from rental fraud. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @globehomes. Leases for a September move-in are traditionally signed later in the year, said Michelle Bleau, a development manager with Cabot, Cabot & Forbes. “It’s hard to know how this pause will play out because it’s unprecedented,” said Salviati. This year, she said "eviction season" is on hold because of the statewide moratorium on evictions. And Wright said she knows other landlords may not be able to wait that long. Quincy Walters Twitter ReporterQuincy Walters is a general assignment reporter for WBUR. A comprehensive set of resources to support tenants and landlords during the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. “Our company continues to sign leases, and we’re utilizing virtual tours whenever possible,” said Beau. "Thirty-nine percent of Latinx renters surveyed said they had little to no confidence that they could pay their rent for August.". That rental debt adds up. Page Sections ... Watch out for apartments listed at below-rental market rates and short-term furnished apartments. Even if things return to normal by September, Salviati speculates that there could be a shift in demand for more affordable apartments because of the financial fallout from the coronavirus. The result is that fewer students are looking to rent across the city, according to economist Joshua Clark, who analyzes rental markets for the real estate website Zillow. The other piece of the equation is that by the time the COVID-19 situation became state-of-emergency-level serious in Massachusetts, the housing market was already off to a strong start. "It usually rents pretty quickly.". Prior to the COVID-19 virus, rents in Boston were up 1.1 percent year over year, according to Apartment List. Proptech is leading to new forms of housing injustice in ways that increase the power of landlords and further disempower tenants and those seeking shelter. "We have a whole new situation now. “However, we’re still seeing searches on our platform, and Google Analytics shows that people are still looking for apartments,” said Salviati. "My husband and I have just been talking about, do we take in a tenant that's less competitive as far as their application," Wright said. By Mary Salmonsen. Right now, moving is at a standstill, said Chris Salviati, a housing economist at Apartment List, an online rental marketplace. A provision in its lease entitles this Boston Properties' tenant to have a majority of its rent abated as a result of Covid-19, the lawsuit alleges. RAFT - Residential Assistance for Families in Transition. Landlords and renters are still uncertain about whether everything will be back to normal for September moves, said Lin. On June 23, 2020, the first report release in the 2020 Greater Boston Housing Report Card series examined households’ ability to pay rents and mortgages, the prospects facing lower-income households at the end of the eviction and foreclosure moratorium, and some innovative responses from municipalities. COVID-19 Crisis Capitalism Comes to Real Estate from Boston Review. But it's anybody's guess what will happen in the coming months, and some people are not as optimistic as Daniels. The rental statistics on this page were compiled using data provided by our sister company, Yardi Matrix, an apartment market intelligence solution which offers comprehensive information on all Boston apartment buildings 50 units or larger. Here are three efects the coronavirus pandemic is having on the Greater Boston real estate market. The rental market, like basically all of the economy, has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. "In a normal year, April, May, June, July, August — those months in the housing justice movement are often referred to as eviction season," said Helen Matthews with City Life/Vida Urbana, a grassroots organization that advocates for housing rights. Thanks to the many big colleges’ effect on the rental market, many leases in Boston and the surrounding areas — even for non-students — are on September to August schedules. While almost everyone is resigned to the current academic year going all-virtual, said Lin, the biggest uncertainty will be the late spring wave that the market relies on to fill the 12 summer weeks. “I thought we were dead,” says Manny Bamfo, the CEO of room-rental startup Globe. Mindy Wright, the owner of the condo in Dorchester, said if no one moves in on September 1, she's hoping to find a tenant for September 15. Rent cuts here have gotten progressively worse every … In Boston, the market was strong prior to COVID-19, thanks to a mild winter and low mortgage rates that got buyers out looking for property early this year. Boston apartment operators have cut rental rates at a much steeper pace that the U.S. overall during the COVID-19 pandemic. They moved in April 20. "One in every two Black renters in Boston said they had little to no confidence that they could pay their rent for August," she said. Many renters would tell you that's a steal in this city. When COVID-19 moved into Boston, many people moved out. “There is a natural gap to fill the months between graduation in June and the beginning of the job and academic year in September.”. "We have a whole new situation now," he said. She said in the decade she's been renting it, she's usually able to find a tenant in about two weeks. And it's having an impact on rental prices, according to Clark. “In addition to summer internships found in most metro areas, almost all of the large universities have summer programs to onboard thousands of students and supporting staff who will stay 12 weeks,” said Lin. BOSTON (AP) - As many as 300,000 COVID-19 cases around the world can be traced to a two-day biotech meeting at a hotel in downtown Boston … But even with some downward pressure on prices, Clark noted that Boston is still one of the most expensive rental markets in the country. Housing Stability: COVID-19 and Beyond. Until then, Bostonians are looking at an unfamiliar rental landscape. But Matthews said that doesn't put people at ease. Sept. 1 is traditionally Boston’s busiest moving day, but will that still hold true in the age of COVID-19? If not, she said she and her family might be able to afford to go without a tenant for six months. And landlords are offering other incentives, such as allowing new tenants to move in for three months rent-free. And Matthews said the fear is heightened for renters of color. These days, landlords said it's not surprising to find a vacant apartment, something that would have seemed almost unthinkable at this time of year in summers past. Matthews said when the eviction moratorium ends in October, Boston and the rest of Massachusetts could face an eviction crisis. “Rental-housing operators with the tech capabilities to offer virtual tours and remote leasing will be ahead of the curve, as they’ll be able to offer tremendous value to apartment seekers who want to have as little in-person interaction as they seek a new home,” said Chase Harrington, president of Entrata, a property management software company. But Clark said there are price declines — something that hasn't happened since Zillow started monitoring Boston's rental market in 2014. "Right now, if you are making money in Boston, if you are a lucky person who's been able to keep their job — and I know that's less common these days than normal — but right now is a great time to find deals," he said. Adobe Stock / conceptualmotion. Sept. 1 — the start of many new leases in the city — is usually marked by moving trucks lining and blocking Boston streets as students arrive and residents move into new digs. Lin said there were more visits to the site on Easter weekend in 2020 than in 2019. No doubt now that the novel coronavirus is disrupting so much of the Boston region, including its rental market (and most Bostonians rent, as do residents of … After that, she's not so sure. COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Initiative. "The city of Boston and the metro area is usually getting ready right now for a flood of students to come on down to town and take up a huge amount of the demand and need a lot of supply that we see around the city.". The city of Boston and the metro area is usually getting ready right now for a flood of students to come on down to town and take up a huge amount of the demand and need a lot of supply that we see around the city.". But as with so many things, the date Bostonians affectionately refer to as "Allston Christmas," may be different this year because of COVID-19. We must collectively work to solve this crisis before COVID-19 adds the housing market to its growing list of victims. While a picture of the fall housing market for renters is still hazy, renters who plan to move may want to be on the lookout for apartments well in advance. The one bright spot for realtors — so far — is that even with the coronavirus pandemic and fewer homes on the market, the median price for homes in Massachusetts was still 6 percent higher in March than it was a year ago. “Unfortunately, the demand is still in a wait-and-see mode.”. The BPDA says the Faneuil Hall Marketplace operator has to step up COVID-19 help for tenants Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation, which leases and … Thankfully the virus doesn’t seem to have impacted anyone’s fall plans yet — or perhaps they are being cautiously optimistic.”. No doubt the novel coronavirus pandemic has spawned a lot of uncertainty for a lot of renters in the Boston area. Disclaimer: School attendance zone boundaries are supplied by Pitney Bowes and are subject to change.Check with the applicable school district prior to making a decision based on these boundaries. Mayor Martin J. Walsh yesterday announced that his Administration is dedicating $3 million in city funds to assist Bostonians who are at risk of losing their rental housing due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re already seeing inquiries for July move dates from incoming medical residents, graduate students, and new young professionals. “There could be more vacancies or even lower rents in luxury buildings, while rents may rise a little on the more affordable end due to higher demand,” Salviati. “Understanding the Boston rental market depends entirely on how the academic institutions navigate the next five months,” said Lee Lin, cofounder of, , an apartment listing site. Clark said Zillow doesn't monitor vacancy rates, and the city of Boston doesn't yet have data that would shed light on what this Sept. 1 will look like. “The Greater Boston area is one of the most seasonal markets in the country, given the very high percentage of people and organizations tied to the academic calendar,” said Lin. CBS Boston: “Rent Prices Drop Across Boston Due to Coronavirus ... For this brief we accessed vacancy rates and market asking rent over time. En español, traducido por El Planeta Media. Coronavirus economy could burst America's big-city rent bubble But the overall housing crisis could actually worsen as many Americans struggle to pay rent at … At 8%, annual effective asking rent cuts in Boston were some of the steepest in the nation as of November. At present, we’re predominantly leasing to medical professionals — our property is adjacent to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center — and doing everything we can to accommodate the needs of medical professionals serving the community at this time.”, (How to protect yourself from rental fraud.). Boston. "This is probably the longest we've had our place on the market," said Mindy Wright, owner of the yet-to-be-rented Dorchester condo. (And there are many, many renters in the Boston area— perhaps 60 … , a property management software company. It’s a boom season for Cape rentals because of the COVID-19 pandemic Homeowners fretted during a slow spring before getting flooded with requests in … By Tim Logan Globe Staff, Updated May 31, 2020, 5:49 p.m. Boston area’s apartment-rental market stuck in limbo The big question: Will colleges keep classes online past September? 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