Rent Growth in Springfield, MA Defies U.S. Trends

  in   Insights

Most of the nation’s apartment markets were recording double-digit rent growth a year ago, but Springfield, Massachusetts just recently achieved that status. In the year-ending July, Springfield recorded an increase in effective asking rents at a historic high of 11%. Though rent growth eased slightly in the year-ending August, the 9.9% price hike was still among the largest annual rent increases on record for the market. Springfield’s recent rent growth continued to rank #2 nationally and was notably ahead of the U.S. average (0.3%), according to data from RealPage Market Analytics. This small Northeast market with a population of around 695,000 and roughly 46,000 existing apartment units averaged annual growth of just over 3% in the 10 years leading up to the pandemic. And during the pandemic, Springfield didn’t experience the massive rent change swings that most other markets across the country witnessed. In fact, Springfield avoided year-over-year rent cuts and didn’t venture into double-digit annual rent growth until April 2023. Despite rent increases of late, Springfield remains relatively affordable for renters. Effective asking rents in the market averaged $1,702 in August 2023, a rate that was well below the Northeast region average ($2,210) and below the U.S. norm ($1,824). Springfield has seen very little new supply, with only 335 units coming online over the past 10 years, with most of those units delivering in 2018 and 2019. With limited new supply, occupancy in Springfield has remained tight, averaging 97.6% over the past decade and registering at 97.1% as of August 2023.