Get Ready to Pay More for Rent

For RentPhoto courtesy of ThinkStock

The Globe is reporting this morning about the unusually tight rental market in and around the city. But rather than blaming it all on the students like we do every September, we have some new culprits—and anyway, normal adult humans can’t live in the places college students have previously inhabited.

This time, according to the Globe, it’s a combination of empty nesters moving back into the city, young professionals who don’t want to buy because the housing market is still considered soft, and yeah, college kids—especially grad students. So the old folks and yuppies are crowding everyone else out. A completely unscientific canvassing of ads shows that rental prices in the nearby ‘burbs are competitive with those closer to the urban core, and I guess empty nesters are finding what they always find: that the suburbs are a great place to raise kids, but not so much once those kids are gone.

I digress. The point of the Globe story is that with rents of a two-bedroom apartment ranging between an average of $1,237 per month (Dorchester, the cheapest) to $2,857 per month (Back Bay, the highest), that raises some concerns about keeping Boston from becoming a too-high-end city that lacks diversity of incomes and people.

Basically, the rental market is passively engaged in manipulating our city’s demographics. That’s a lot to blame on college kids, but maybe some of them could study it.