Home News Six things we learned about Boston’s housing crisis from the new Boston Foundation housing report card

Six things we learned about Boston’s housing crisis from the new Boston Foundation housing report card

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This isn’t news to homebuyers here, but it’s the painful truth. Home prices in the Boston metropolitan area have skyrocketed since the pandemic began, and growth is just starting to slow. The median single-family home price in the area was $763,000 in September, 26% higher than the same month in 2019, according to the Greater Boston Real Estate Association’s latest housing market report.

And it’s not just luxury homes in Boston’s affluent suburbs that have seen sharp price increases. For example, in the Boston Foundation’s report, the “regional urban centers” of the Boston metropolitan area, defined as towns like Peabody and Methuen with dense cores surrounded by more suburban residential neighborhoods, by 2020 from 2021. In ‘metro core communities’ like Somerville and Cambridge, low- and mid-rise home prices rose 8% over the same period.

2) Boston rents are among the highest in the nation.

A fact we all know all too well. There is disagreement among companies measuring rental data about exactly where Greater Boston sits in the nation’s most expensive rental market.Second — but it’s pretty clear that we’re head-on among the top five.

After seeing declines in some communities early in the pandemic, rents have risen steadily across all parts of the state and are now hitting all-time highs in many locations. That’s thanks to the pandemic and how it has shifted demand for rental housing, the report says. For example, the rise of remote work has drawn people to low-cost regional urban centers such as Marlborough, where they can find more space for less.

In short, rents are very high almost everywhere in Massachusetts.

3) Housing inequality is significantly exacerbated.

Eviction moratoriums and other renter protections have halted the wave of evictions and homelessness feared the pandemic might bring, but housing inequality has continued to rise, thanks in large part to rising rents and house prices. It has only deepened in the last few years.

The statistics from the Boston Foundation Report are staggering. About 45% of a Greater Boston renter spends his 30% of his income on rent. —“cost burden” in housing parlance—and the proportion of non-white renters who fall into that category is even greater. About 52% of Black renters and 53% of Latino renters It is believed that Ultimately, the report found that pandemics led to the largest annual increase in family-bearing costs in 2020, up nearly 6% since 2006.

In addition, the report found that over the past decade, Housing costs are a growing burden on the region’s poorest residents. In the lowest 10% of incomes in the Boston metropolitan area, housing costs increased by 19%. This is the same percentage of total revenue from 2011 to 2021. Meanwhile, for the richest 10%, income increased three times faster than his housing costs.

4) Housing production is increasing, but still well below what is needed.

New construction in Greater Boston has started to pick up over the past decade, albeit slowly. Approximately 15,000 new units have been permitted in the region in 2021. This is about 2,000 more than the pace set in the last few years. And over the past decade, nearly every community type in the region has increased the number of new units it allows.

But there is one important outlier. It’s a wealthy suburb of Boston. These towns and cities have seen a slow decline in the percentage of permits issued compared to the rest of the region. At the beginning of the decade, those areas identified as “mature suburbs” in the report accounted for about 34% of permits in the area. In 2021 they accounted for just 12%.

Production is increasing, but not yet at the pace needed to address the severe housing shortage in the region. In 2018, the mayor of 15 cities and towns near Boston set a goal of allowing 185,000 new housing units by 2030. By 2021, these municipalities had only authorized 38,639 new units, less than half the number needed to meet the target.

5) Wealthy suburbs are lagging behind housing affordability initiatives.

Boston’s affluent suburbs not only lag behind in overall housing production, they also have far fewer subsidized housing for low-income households. About 3 out of 3 homes are subsidized, compared to 1 in 20 homes in the suburbs.

This is largely due to the fact that these suburbs tend to allow single-family homes at a much faster pace than apartments and other types of units more commonly used as rentals. As a result, these communities have far fewer rental properties available and far fewer opportunities for subsidized housing. And all in all, these suburbs mean they’re less affordable for working-class families than anywhere else in Greater Boston.

6) Need a place? Good luck finding one at any price

Greater Boston consistently exhibits the lowest rents and homebuyer vacancies in the nation, a telltale sign of supply shortages in the area. The rental vacancy rate, which was about 4.5% in 2021, is matched only by the metro. New York City and Los Angeles. Homeowner vacancy was about 0.5% that year, by far the lowest among major US metropolitan areas.

The effects of these consistently low interest rates are being felt not only on local housing costs, but also on housing and rental housing prices. fly out of the market. May of this year, A typical home for sale in Greater Boston was listed for just 16 days before closing. In New York it was 43 days.


To contact Andrew Brinker: [email protected]Follow him on Twitter. @Andrewn Brinker.

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