Rent is a commodity that has been a source of concern in Boston, particularly as the housing market has struggled to get back to its pre-crisis peak.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city, for example, has soared more than 50 percent over the past five years, and some rent control tenants say that’s a problem.
“It’s been an issue in my apartment for the past few years.
People are getting pushed out,” said Sarah E. Lai, who rents a one bedroom apartment in South Boston.
“There are so many people who are getting evicted.”
Renters and landlords say the real estate market is being disrupted by a massive shortage of affordable housing, with many of the rental properties that are available having sold up in recent years.
The city is grappling with an influx of more than a million people who have left the city in the past year and a half, according to the Boston Housing Partnership, the state’s largest housing advocacy group.
The number of renter households is rising, with the average household size increasing from one person in 2016 to two people this year, according the Partnership.
But the number of people renting in Boston has remained largely flat, despite a recent surge in the number who are living in subsidized apartments.
“People don’t feel like they have the options for affordable housing,” said Kevin Kwan, president of the Boston Area Renters’ Federation.
“The market is still a little bit off.
The supply is not that great.”
The average price of a one to two bedroom apartment has increased about 45 percent over five years for a two-bedroom, according a report released by the city’s Department of Planning and Sustainability (DPPS).
The report found that rents for two to three bedroom apartments are now $2,634, or about 30 percent higher than they were five years ago.
The median price of that same two- to three-bedroom unit in 2017 was $2.26 million, according DPPS.
That compares with $2 million in 2017.
According to the DPPPS, one- bedroom and two- bedroom rental units were both up 13.5 percent between 2017 and 2017.
The DPPps report noted that rents in new construction apartments have increased by 13.2 percent, and single-family homes have seen an 8.4 percent increase.
That is an increase of roughly $3,400 per household.
Many of the new apartments that have been built since the recession have been single-bedroom or one- and two bedroom, according, and many have been in older buildings that have seen some price growth in recent decades.
Renters, like Lai and others, say the new condos that have come on the market in recent months have been more affordable and better-suited for renters who can afford the rent.
“I’m a millennial and I’ve always wanted to rent in a place where it feels like you can afford to rent,” Lai said.
“This is a way to make it feel like it’s still affordable.”
But some renters and landlords are concerned that they won’t be able to afford to live there, and that they may have to move elsewhere.
“They are going to want to move out,” Lavin said.
The shortage of rentals is creating a new class of renters, and one that is especially vulnerable to gentrification.
While the housing bubble is the main factor driving demand for new homes, some say that the current situation could also lead to a housing bubble that displaces low-income residents.
“We’re seeing an influx and an influx from all walks of life who are making it hard to live here,” said Lai.
“You have young, working-class people who come in, and they have no idea how to pay their rent.
I don’t know what they’re going to do with that money.
I’ve seen them go to other cities.”
Many of those renters are looking to buy homes in their neighborhood to buy a down payment for their homes.
“Right now, there’s a lot of pressure on people who can’t afford to buy on their own, because they have a mortgage on their house,” said Robert R. Stutz, who owns two properties in South Station.
“But they are now looking to rent, so I’m going to make them a deal.
They can’t do it.”
For renters, many are choosing to move into single- and multi-family units.
Some are renting to other tenants or renters in temporary housing.
“As more and more people are moving out, you’re going into condos that are going up,” said Stutz.
“Then, the rent for those condos goes up as well.”
While renters are being priced out of their homes, they are still finding housing in some areas.
According the DPS, the number and percentage of units available in Boston that are affordable for renters has remained stable since 2016.
The Department of