Department of Numbers

Worcester Massachusetts Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Worcester, MA (the Worcester metro area) was $957 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Worcester was $938 in 2016. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2017 Worcester median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Worcester Massachusetts (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Massachusetts Median Gross Rent $1,179 0.00% +8.86%
Worcester, MA Median Gross Rent $957 -2.84% +4.13%

Worcester, MA Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Worcester peaked in real terms in 2015 at $985 and is now $28 (2.84%) lower. Average gross rent for Worcester peaked in real terms in 2015 at $966 and is now $28 (2.90%) lower.

Real Gross Rent in Worcester: Worcester MA Median, Worcester MA Average, Massachusetts Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Worcester

Date US
Median
Massachusetts
Median
Worcester, MA
Median
Worcester, MA
Average
2016 $981 $1,179 $957 $938
2015 $972 $1,179 $985 $966
2014 $942 $1,116 $940 $923
2013 $910 $1,083 $919 $923
2012 $898 $1,053 $906 $885
2011 $898 $1,067 $890 $875
2010 $912 $1,077 $925 $913
2009 $916 $1,075 $925 $923
2008 $932 $1,121 $973 $931
2007 $885 $1,061 $918 $861
2006 $895 $1,094 $917 $911
2005 $869 $1,077 $938 $904

Worcester Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Worcester Massachusetts was 4.13% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Worcester Massachusetts

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Massachusetts 3.98% +0.50% -0.63%
Worcester, MA 4.13% +0.14% -2.79%

Trends in Worcester, MA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Worcester peaked in 2005 at 10.35%. Since then it has fallen by 6.22% to 4.13%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2015 post peak low of 3.99%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.14%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Worcester MA, Massachusetts, US

Rental vacancy rate in Massachusetts

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Worcester

Date US Massachusetts Worcester, MA
2016 5.89% 3.98% 4.13%
2015 5.85% 3.48% 3.99%
2014 6.32% 4.04% 6.83%
2013 6.49% 4.61% 6.92%
2012 6.77% 4.46% 5.66%
2011 7.40% 4.76% 7.19%
2010 8.17% 5.80% 7.41%
2009 8.43% 5.83% 6.80%
2008 7.86% 5.28% 6.25%
2007 7.87% 6.20% 7.90%
2006 7.70% 5.55% 8.27%
2005 7.74% 5.58% 10.35%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Worcester, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Worcester, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 16.95% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Worcester Massachusetts Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Massachusetts 18.79% -0.99% -0.57%
Worcester, MA 16.95% -0.88% -0.80%

Trends in Worcester, MA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Worcester household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2015 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 17.83%. Since then it has fallen by 0.88% to 16.95%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Worcester MA, Massachusetts, US

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

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

Date US Massachusetts Worcester, MA
2016 20.43% 18.79% 16.95%
2015 20.63% 19.78% 17.83%
2014 20.89% 19.21% 17.32%
2013 20.78% 19.36% 17.75%
2012 20.65% 19.03% 17.13%
2011 20.70% 19.74% 17.12%
2010 20.50% 19.51% 17.00%
2009 20.12% 18.50% 16.10%
2008 19.00% 18.18% 15.43%
2007 18.66% 18.20% 15.84%
2006 18.90% 18.67% 15.91%
2005 18.89% 18.93% 16.99%

Renter Fraction in Worcester Massachusetts

You can calculate the renter fraction in Worcester 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 Worcester as a fraction of total Worcester households. In 2016 35.32% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Worcester Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Massachusetts 38.01% -0.27% -0.45%
Worcester, MA 35.32% +0.60% +0.06%

Trends in the Worcester, MA Renter Fraction

The Worcester household renter fraction peaked in in 2012 at 35.66% and is now 0.34% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Worcester MA, Massachusetts, US

Fraction of renters in Worcester

History of Worcester Renter Fraction

Date US Massachusetts Worcester, MA
2016 36.88% 38.01% 35.32%
2015 36.97% 38.28% 34.72%
2014 36.90% 38.40% 35.36%
2013 36.50% 38.46% 35.26%
2012 36.09% 37.76% 35.66%
2011 35.42% 37.87% 35.16%
2010 34.65% 37.77% 34.69%
2009 34.13% 35.79% 32.25%
2008 33.36% 35.46% 31.93%
2007 32.80% 34.91% 30.97%
2006 32.73% 35.08% 31.51%
2005 33.10% 35.95% 32.77%

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.