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Market Report

Boston Multifamily Market Report

2024 Investment Forecast

Polemic on Multifamily Zoning Continues as
Urban Core is Well-Poised to Absorb New Supply

City center attracts projects as suburban development push lags. The ongoing implementation of a zoning initiative in Boston’s MBTA-connected municipalities will have a notable impact on the area’s multifamily landscape. As of late last year, 12 of Boston’s immediate suburbs marked as “rapid transit communities,” meaning they feature at least one trolley or subway stop, noted little agreement across the board as to the implementation of high-density housing districts. As debate continues, developer interest remains strongest in the core. More than 20,000 units were proposed across the region in late 2023, over half of which were earmarked for Suffolk County. Headwinds in other sectors bode well for builders operating in densely-developed locales. The biotech cooldown should be a boon to urban apartment development, as the multifamily sector had faced steep competition from life science developers for available parcels, particularly those proximate to public transit. While a supply influx will impact vacancy in the near-term, the market faces a chronic housing shortage and has one of the nation’s higher home price-to-income ratios, which will help integrate these units into the local ecosystem.
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