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Moving one MBTA stop away could save you hundreds in rent, study says

News Renting Allston-Brighton Back Bay Boston Cambridge East Boston South Boston South End
Boston rents near MBTA stops, mapped out by RentHop.
Boston rents near MBTA stops, mapped out by RentHop. RentHop

In a city as compact as Boston, it doesn’t take much of a move to find an apartment in an entirely different price range. Sometimes it can be just one MBTA stop away.

Boston rental prices increased an average of 3 percent this past year, according to the real estate website RentHop, with 90 MBTA stops seeing a price increase around their stations. This is fewer than in 2017, when 101 saw an uptick. Still, more than half of the Boston stops experienced growth, and Kendall/MIT was the only Cambridge station to avoid a price increase. In all, 21 MBTA stops saw a decrease in price growth, and 10 underwent no change.

RentHop created a map to illustrate both median rent prices around MBTA stops and year-to-year changes in those areas. The data revealed that moving just one MBTA stop away can make a big difference in rental price. Case in point: Moving from the Broadway stop ($3,217) to Andrew Station ($2,200) on the Red Line could save residents $1,017 a month.

Similarly, one could save $950 by moving from Copley ($3,450) to Hynes Convention Center ($2,500) on the Green Line, $925 from Back Bay ($3,475) to Massachusetts Avenue ($2,550) on the Orange Line, $671 from Kendall/MIT ($3,171) to Central ($2,500) on the Red Line, and $615 from Aquarium ($2,915) to Maverick ($2,300) on the Blue Line.

RentHop came to these numbers by calculating the median of 50 unique data points within 0.62 of a mile of each MBTA stop. If there weren’t enough data points in that radius, the distance was increased to 1.2 miles, and the data were resampled. RentHop data for one-bedroom apartments from February through April 2017 and 2018, as well as MBTA data for T stops from the Massachusetts Bureau of Geographic Information (MassGIS), were utilized to get the median rents.

The price disparities could be products of stop locations on the edge of a neighborhood, rents near one stop dropping while rents near the other soar, or the different types of apartments available around T stops, according to the study.

The greatest increases in rental prices were found at the Airport stop on the Blue Line ($1,850, 8.8 percent), Fenwood Road on the Green Line ($2,200, 8.6 percent), Green Street on the Orange Line  ($2,150, 8.2 percent), Broadway on the Red Line ($3,217, 7.2 percent), and Waban on the Green Line ($2,250, 7.1 percent).

The largest price drops were found at Savin Hill on the Red Line ($2,364, 6.4 percent), Back Bay on the Orange Line ($3,475, 6.1 percent), Woodland on the Green Line ($1,800, 5.9 percent), Mattapan on the Red Line ($1,650, 5.7 percent), and Boylston on the Green Line ($3,135, 4.9 percent).

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