There has been a decline in the number of people interested in renting apartments in Jamaica Plain. Both the real-time availability rate and vacancy rate bear testimony to this fact. Though the demand for apartments in several other neighborhoods in and around Boston like Back Bay and South End has recovered, rental demand has been slower to return in Jamaica Plan.
This trend has been illustrated by two key apartment supply metrics. The real-time vacancy rate (RTVR) is calculated by dividing the number of vacant apartments by the total supply of apartments. The real-time availability rate (RTAR) in Jamaica Plain can be calculated by adding the total number of Jamaica Plain apartments available for rent(not just vacant) and dividing it by the total supply of apartments.
As of now, the Jamaica Plain vacancy rate is at 2.56%. This is quite a high percentage and slightly alarming considering the fact that the vacancy rate in JP is nearly double than the vacancy rate for all Boston apartments (1.33%). In Beacon Hill, the vacancy rate stands at 0.77%. At 0.41%, the vacancy rate in Back Bay is even lower. The vacancy rate in Fenway, which stands at 0.50%, is also quite low compared to Jamaica Plain.
One is further alarmed to see the change in the RTVR % of Jamaica Plain over the past year. The YOY RTVR% has increased by+166.67%. When you compare it to the YOY RTVR % of East Boston, which is at just +5.23%, you realize how high the percentage is. It must also be noted that many areas in Boston like Fort Hill and North End have witnessed a decline in their RTVR % coupled with an increased demand for rentals.
At 3.12%, the real-time availability rate in Jamaica Plan is well above the city average (1.88%). Only Dorchester (3.39%), Mattapan (4.10%), Roxbury (4.69%), and Hyde Park (4.09%) currently have a higher apartment availability rate than Jamaica Plain.
So look for apartment prices to remain low in Jamaica Plain at least for the short term. Lower rent prices in inner Boston may have attracted some renters away from more affordable rental markets like Jamaica Plain over the past year, as many landlords dealt with soaring vacancies in these core areas. As prices return to normal over the next year, look for the apartment supply to contract in Jamaica Plain.