Mapping New England: Changes in Median Rents Mapping New England: Changes in Median Rents

April 13, 2017

Nationally, half of all renters are now spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That is up from 38 percent of renters in 2000. Moreover, the percentage of renters is increasing in the region. In New England, the percentage of households living in a rental unit increased from 28.6 percent in 2010 to 31.2 percent in 2015. One way to examine postrecession changes within the rental market is to look at changes in monthly median gross rents[1] for one-bedroom apartments. Large percentage changes occurred in metro areas across New England, including the New Haven, Boston, Providence, and Burlington metro areas.[2] The map illustrates the changes in median rents by metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).

An obvious concern with increasing rents is how much of an individual's income is allocated towards rent. Budget experts recommend that individuals spend no more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Individuals who allocate more than 30 percent of their income to housing are considered to be housing-cost burdened.

At least 45 percent of renters within New England are classified as being housing-cost burdened, and the largest percentage of housing-cost burdened renters reside within the New Haven, CT, metro area. Median one-bedroom rents within the New Haven, CT, metro rose 19.33 percent, and 57 percent of all renters are housing-cost burdened.

Percent change in rent for selected metro areas[3]

2010 One-Bedroom Median Monthly Rent 2017 One-Bedroom Median Monthly Rent Percentage Chance in Median Rent Percentage of Renters Who Are Housing-Cost Burdened[4]
Grafton County, NH $767 $970 26.47% 45.41%
Burlington-South Burlington, VT, MSA $929 $1,169 25.83% 53.39%
Kennebec County, ME $570 $708 24.21% 51.32%
New Haven-Meriden, CT, HUD Metro FMR Area $978 $1,167 19.33% 57.03%
Boston-Cambridge- Quincy, MA-NH HUD Metro FMR Area $1,275 $1,494 17.18% 49.23%
Providence-Fall River, RI- MA HUD Metro FMR Area $860 $888 3.26% 51.25%

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