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For First Time in Decades, Boston Apartment Occupancy Falls Below U.S. Norm

For First Time in Decades, Boston Apartment Occupancy Falls Below U.S. Norm

Apartment occupancy in Boston fell below the U.S. norm in recent months, a position the market hasn’t found itself in for at least two decades.

Occupancy in Boston stood at 95.4% as of September, a rate that is off from the peak above 97% the market saw a year earlier. Local occupancy is now a hair under the U.S. average of 95.8%. This is the first time Boston has seen occupancy fall below the U.S. norm since RealPage began tracking the market two decades ago. In fact, Boston typically enjoys an occupancy premium of 100 basis points (bps) or so over the U.S. average.

Bringing down overall occupancy, challenges have emerged in Boston’s luxury apartments. Occupancy in the Class A apartment stock is down 340 bps year-over-year, falling to 93.2% as of September.

In comparison, the middle-tier Class B product segment registers occupancy that’s still in good shape at 95.5%, while the Class C projects remain notably full, with occupancy topping 97%. While the Class B and C product lines have also seen occupancy come down in the past year, the rate of decline has been less forceful, closer to 100 bps.

For more information on the Boston apartment market, watch the latest webcast, Up Close and Local: Boston Market Update.