Jamaica Plain Real Estate Part III: What’s Going On in the Rental Market?

Many people believe rents are higher than ever — and they certainly are higher than five years ago. But according to a city report, rents for Jamaica Plain’s older housing stock — buildings built before 2011 — went down 5 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. With more rental units being built, are overall rental unit prices going to drop? Let’s hear what local real estate agents have to say about the Jamaica Plain rental market.

This is the third article in our series about Jamaica Plain’s real estate market. The first article was about the condo market and the second article was about the single-family home market.

File photo: Brookside Avenue home.

Chris Helms

File photo: Brookside Avenue home.

What are you observing in Jamaica Plain’s rental market?

Josh Brett, Nextdoor Realty Team at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty

The rental market seems to have stabilized with the recent spike in new-construction luxury apartments in Jamaica Plain. Possibly as a result of the increased supply of luxury apartments and concessions being made to fill those apartments, it seems that the rental rates have moderated for units in existing buildings, including our beloved triple-deckers, which is healthy.

Randal Engelmann, Focus Real Estate

Rents are up. For the first time in decades, the cost to rent is higher than the cost to purchase, which is certainly driving the sales market with historically low mortgage rates. It is also interesting to see all the new buildings going up, which are being built as rentals. It is changing the face of Washington Street and many other areas as well. In addition, many investors are buying multifamily homes and holding them as rentals. This is a change from the previous trend of buying homes and flipping them as condos.

Josh Muncey, Ellen, Janis, & Josh Real Estate Team

After rents have risen at a very rapid pace over the past five years, they seem to be leveling out. This could be because of the new larger rental buildings, such as Olmsted Place and Metro Mark, putting a lot of inventory on the market. It could also be due to the fact that many seeking housing are finding it more affordable to purchase than rent with rents being so high and mortgage rates still hovering around 4 percent on a 30-year fixed rate loan.

Tristan Rushton, Coldwell Banker 

With the new large rental properties on and coming to market, rentals are more available and rent appreciation seems to have slowed.

Karen McCormack, McCormack & Scanlan

Seasonally strong, although off-season rentals are taking longer than last year to rent. The prices have stayed level with last year’s prices.  We are seeing record high numbers of luxury rentals in the ​Jamaica Plain area. Time will tell if there are enough renters to fill them all. We are seeing these developments offering perks like a free month or two which seems to be normal in other areas.

We wondered if the potential condo buyers would choose to rent these luxury apartments instead of buy condominiums where they are more involved and responsible. Up to this point, that market has not been affected at all! The sales prices of mid-high level condominiums ($450,000-$650,000) have risen remarkably. The average price per square foot for a condominium in Jamaica Plain rarely topped $500. until 2016 and over the past few months, we have seen some sale prices over $600 a square foot.