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When it comes to high rents, Greater Boston ranks No. 2

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis January 19, 2012 06:12 AM

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Or so says rental market tracker HotPads, which puts Boston just behind New York when it comes to high rents.

The average listing price for a two bedroom in Boston and the western suburbs is just under $2,000 a month, according to HotPads. The New York metro market weighs in around $2,500 a month.

And we are just getting started here, with rising demand and an increasingly tight market fueling predictions of double digit increases for 2012.

It's a trend that not only has renters on edge, but some landlords as well.

In fact, one of the Boston area's most prolific apartment developers is already warning of a potential backlash.

The now 86-year-old Harold Brown apparently fears all the rent hikes we are seeing will egg on efforts to bring back rent control, the Boston Business Journal reports.

In fact, Brown is highly skeptical there is a market for the sudden surge in construction that Boston and some suburban communities are seeing in luxury rentals.

"There are just as limited amount of rich people around," the paper quotes Brown as saying.

So Brown is urging his fellow landlords to go easy on the rents. Sounds like sage advice to me.

But when was the last time we saw any industry, whether it's banking or pharmaceutical sales, willingly and effectively police itself?

I'll quote here from the article by Tom Grillo.

"Landlords are starting to increase rents, but be careful, careful, careful, if you raise rents too high you're going have a backlash that wants rent control to come back," warned Brown, who spoke to a packed crowd this morning at Boston Multifamily Summit sponsored by BisNow, an online real estate newsletter. "Tenants just aren't going to pay it. They will go back to their families houses or double up and all these new luxury building which are under construction won't rent up. There's just a limited amount of rich people around."

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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