Department of Numbers

Essex County Massachusetts Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Essex County MA was $1,159 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Essex County was $1,139 in 2017. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2018 Essex County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

Data is also available below for Essex County rental vacancy rates, Essex County rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Essex County.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Essex County Massachusetts (2017 dollars)2

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $1,012 +1.61% +5.86%
Massachusetts Median Gross Rent $1,208 +0.92% +6.62%
Essex County MA Median Gross Rent $1,159 +1.76% +4.60%

Essex County MA Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Essex County peaked in real terms in 2015 at $1,167 and is now $8 (0.69%) lower. At $1,139, real average gross rent in Essex County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent: Essex County MA Median, Essex County MA Average, Massachusetts Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Essex County

Date US
Median
Massachusetts
Median
Essex County MA
Median
Essex County MA
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,208 $1,159 $1,139
2016 $996 $1,197 $1,139 $1,092
2015 $987 $1,198 $1,167 $1,118
2014 $956 $1,133 $1,108 $1,069
2013 $924 $1,100 $1,073 $1,030
2012 $912 $1,069 $1,073 $1,033
2011 $912 $1,083 $1,030 $1,010
2010 $927 $1,093 $1,051 $1,022
2009 $931 $1,092 $1,064 $1,025
2008 $947 $1,138 $1,107 $1,072
2007 $899 $1,078 $1,069 $1,012
2006 $909 $1,111 $1,118 $1,065

Essex County Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2017 the rental vacancy rate for Essex County Massachusetts was 1.86% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Essex County Massachusetts

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
Massachusetts 3.87% -0.11% -0.17%
Essex County MA 1.86% -2.04% -1.78%

Trends in Essex County MA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Essex County peaked in 2009 at 7.56%. Since then it has fallen by 5.70% to 1.86%. Data records for this series originated in 2005.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Essex County MA, Massachusetts, US

Rental vacancy rate in Massachusetts

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Essex County

Date US Massachusetts Essex County MA
2017 6.18% 3.87% 1.86%
2016 5.89% 3.98% 3.90%
2015 5.85% 3.48% 3.64%
2014 6.32% 4.04% 3.64%
2013 6.49% 4.61% 3.53%
2012 6.77% 4.46% 4.01%
2011 7.40% 4.76% 2.64%
2010 8.17% 5.80% 5.16%
2009 8.43% 5.83% 7.56%
2008 7.86% 5.28% 5.97%
2007 7.87% 6.20% 6.18%
2006 7.70% 5.55% 5.75%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Essex County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Essex County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 18.43% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Essex County Massachusetts Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.13% -0.30% -0.76%
Massachusetts 18.73% -0.06% -0.48%
Essex County MA 18.43% +0.21% -0.03%

Trends in Essex County MA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Essex County household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2015 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 19.88%. Since then it has fallen by 1.45% to 18.43%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Essex County MA, Massachusetts, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Essex County Massachusetts

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Essex County Massachusetts

Date US Massachusetts Essex County MA
2017 20.13% 18.73% 18.43%
2016 20.43% 18.79% 18.22%
2015 20.63% 19.78% 19.88%
2014 20.89% 19.21% 18.45%
2013 20.78% 19.36% 18.68%
2012 20.65% 19.03% 18.38%
2011 20.70% 19.74% 18.18%
2010 20.50% 19.51% 18.84%
2009 20.12% 18.50% 18.35%
2008 19.00% 18.18% 17.64%
2007 18.66% 18.20% 18.31%
2006 18.90% 18.67% 18.91%

Renter Fraction in Essex County Massachusetts

You can calculate the renter fraction in Essex County in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Essex County as a fraction of total Essex County households. In 2017 35.82% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Essex County Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.13% -0.75% -0.77%
Massachusetts 37.68% -0.33% -0.72%
Essex County MA 35.82% +0.31% -1.08%

Trends in the Essex County MA Renter Fraction

The Essex County household renter fraction peaked in in 2013 at 38.48% and is now 2.66% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Essex County MA, Massachusetts, US

Fraction of renters in Essex County

History of Essex County Renter Fraction

Date US Massachusetts Essex County MA
2017 36.13% 37.68% 35.82%
2016 36.88% 38.01% 35.51%
2015 36.97% 38.28% 36.41%
2014 36.90% 38.40% 36.90%
2013 36.50% 38.46% 38.48%
2012 36.09% 37.76% 37.91%
2011 35.42% 37.87% 36.41%
2010 34.65% 37.77% 35.96%
2009 34.13% 35.79% 35.03%
2008 33.36% 35.46% 34.40%
2007 32.80% 34.91% 33.54%
2006 32.73% 35.08% 33.95%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.