Why is renting in Boston more difficult than other places?

Prospective renters often say that it is difficult to shop for a house or apartment in Boston. One possible reason is that most people in the Boston area rent their home, which is the opposite of the national trend. According to the US Census Bureau, 65% of Boston residents are renters, compared to only 35% of the total US population.

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Many of these people are “renters by choice” – a growing group who have the means to purchase a home, but prefer to rent. Often they choose to rent because they don’t plan on staying in Boston permanently, or they enjoy letting someone else do all the maintenance.

Demographically, “renters by choice” are similar to the people who own their own homes in other US cities and towns. With higher budgets and more experience with the process of shopping, “renters by choice”  add serious competition to the Boston housing market. They snap-up the nice apartments while other renters are still deliberating.

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