Zach Parker

Charlestown Apartment Vacancies Drop By A Stunning 74% Since May

Apartment supply is quickly shrinking in Charlestown’s rental market. The availability rate for Charlestown apartments had been significantly slimmer than that of Boston’s throughout the entire pandemic. In a neighborhood known for high demand and low turnover, it’s no surprise that the effects of remote learning on off-campus apartment demand was not harshly felt in Charlestown.

That hasn’t stopped the vacancy rate in Charlestown from plunging from 4.09% in April to its current rate of 0.89%. That marks the 3rd lowest vacancy rate in Boston at the moment, behind only South Boston (0.81%) and Roslindale (0.73%).

It’s worth mentioning that Charlestown wasn’t spared entirely from the apartment supply glut seen in most areas in Boston. In September of 2020, when vacancies typically peak in Boston, the Charlestown apartment vacancy rate inflated to 2.82%, nearly double of its 2019 high of 1.43%.

Now that may have paled in comparison to Boston’s astronomical vacancy rate of 9.13% in September of 2020, but it was a shock nonetheless to a neighborhood known for less cyclical volatility and lower apartment turnover. That vacancy rate further ballooned to 5.29% in November of 2020, where it hovered between 4-5% until early April. Then came the rush.

You could credit the vaccine rollout or the return of Boston’s students, but in a 5 week span the apartment vacancy rate in Charlestown dropped from 4.09% on April 12 to 1.04% by May 24. The current vacancy rate of 0.89% is very close to the paltry 0.80% vacancy rate from June 24, 2019, suggesting that the apartment rental market in Charlestown is on its way to a full recovery.

Look for apartment prices in Charlestown to rebound in 2021. The neighborhood vacancy data is showing that some demand has shifted outwards to the areas on Boston’s border. That trend is still showing signs of life even as the vacancy rates near Downtown are in fast decline. We will continue to monitor the apartment data for Charlestown, MA.

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