Department of Numbers

Suffolk County Massachusetts Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Suffolk County MA was $1,524 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Suffolk County was $1,480 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 Suffolk County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Suffolk 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%
Suffolk County MA Median Gross Rent $1,524 +3.25% +13.06%

Suffolk County MA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $1,524, real median gross rent in Suffolk County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. At $1,480, real average gross rent in Suffolk County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005.

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

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Suffolk County

Date US
Median
Massachusetts
Median
Suffolk County MA
Median
Suffolk County MA
Average
2017 $1,012 $1,208 $1,524 $1,480
2016 $996 $1,197 $1,476 $1,450
2015 $987 $1,198 $1,427 $1,433
2014 $956 $1,133 $1,348 $1,332
2013 $924 $1,100 $1,279 $1,293
2012 $912 $1,069 $1,244 $1,250
2011 $912 $1,083 $1,275 $1,250
2010 $927 $1,093 $1,325 $1,295
2009 $931 $1,092 $1,301 $1,278
2008 $947 $1,138 $1,300 $1,306
2007 $899 $1,078 $1,240 $1,203
2006 $909 $1,111 $1,266 $1,249

Suffolk 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 Suffolk County Massachusetts was 2.50% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Suffolk County Massachusetts

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
Massachusetts 3.87% -0.11% -0.17%
Suffolk County MA 2.50% -0.95% -0.18%

Trends in Suffolk County MA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Suffolk County peaked in 2007 at 7.11%. Since then it has fallen by 4.61% to 2.50%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2015 post peak low of 2.04%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.46%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Suffolk County MA, Massachusetts, US

Rental vacancy rate in Massachusetts

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Suffolk County

Date US Massachusetts Suffolk County MA
2017 6.18% 3.87% 2.50%
2016 5.89% 3.98% 3.45%
2015 5.85% 3.48% 2.04%
2014 6.32% 4.04% 2.68%
2013 6.49% 4.61% 3.24%
2012 6.77% 4.46% 4.21%
2011 7.40% 4.76% 4.03%
2010 8.17% 5.80% 5.33%
2009 8.43% 5.83% 5.70%
2008 7.86% 5.28% 4.94%
2007 7.87% 6.20% 7.11%
2006 7.70% 5.55% 5.35%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Suffolk County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Suffolk County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 27.52% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Suffolk 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%
Suffolk County MA 27.52% -0.70% -1.44%

Trends in Suffolk County MA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Suffolk County household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2011 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 29.64%. Since then it has fallen by 2.12% to 27.52%.

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

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

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

Date US Massachusetts Suffolk County MA
2017 20.13% 18.73% 27.52%
2016 20.43% 18.79% 28.22%
2015 20.63% 19.78% 29.32%
2014 20.89% 19.21% 28.95%
2013 20.78% 19.36% 27.44%
2012 20.65% 19.03% 28.35%
2011 20.70% 19.74% 29.64%
2010 20.50% 19.51% 29.34%
2009 20.12% 18.50% 25.79%
2008 19.00% 18.18% 26.53%
2007 18.66% 18.20% 26.02%
2006 18.90% 18.67% 26.75%

Renter Fraction in Suffolk County Massachusetts

You can calculate the renter fraction in Suffolk 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 Suffolk County as a fraction of total Suffolk County households. In 2017 63.88% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Suffolk 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%
Suffolk County MA 63.88% -0.51% -0.19%

Trends in the Suffolk County MA Renter Fraction

The Suffolk County household renter fraction peaked in in 2010 at 66.15% and is now 2.27% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

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

Fraction of renters in Suffolk County

History of Suffolk County Renter Fraction

Date US Massachusetts Suffolk County MA
2017 36.13% 37.68% 63.88%
2016 36.88% 38.01% 64.39%
2015 36.97% 38.28% 64.95%
2014 36.90% 38.40% 64.07%
2013 36.50% 38.46% 64.79%
2012 36.09% 37.76% 64.55%
2011 35.42% 37.87% 65.07%
2010 34.65% 37.77% 66.15%
2009 34.13% 35.79% 61.89%
2008 33.36% 35.46% 61.22%
2007 32.80% 34.91% 60.40%
2006 32.73% 35.08% 60.04%

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.