• Dropping prices, new apartments drawing people to East Boston

    By: Ted Daniel


    Boston has some of the highest rent prices in the country, but for the first time in nearly a decade, prices are beginning to plateau and fall in East Boston.

    Rents in East Boston have risen about 10 percent every year for almost the last 10, and residents have long been feeling the impacts of the high costs.

    "It's hard, the cost of living is so hard," East Boston resident Natalia Restrepo said. "You're forced to share apartments with people because you can't afford it on your own."

    Restrepo said she pays $2,200 for her family's three-bedroom residence, nearly three times what her mother paid at the spot just 15 years ago.

    "When I was little and I lived with my mom, had a three-bedroom and we paid $850," Restrepo said.

    Now, real estate broker James Bowen from the ERA Russell Realty Group believes the end of the rising prices is near.

    "There's a lot of supply hitting the market right now," Bowen said.

    Bowen said the average time a rental is on the market has gone from 60 days to six months, and he has seen prices drop for the first time since the 2007 real estate crash.

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    "This is the first season, the summer season, I have seen it reverse almost 10 percent in three months," Bowen said. "We are done, in my professional opinion, with the rise in multi-family tenements for rent."

    Bowen said new luxury apartment buildings are drawing people from the traditional housing stock with deals and amenities. 

    "Inside washer and dryer, it has all the amenities," Ayan Choudhury from East Boston said. "Two-bed, two-bath, it's cheaper than what I had in the South End."

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