Thanks to the popularity of remote work, Boston workers no longer feel the need to live within commuting distance of their workplace.
That opens up a lot of possibilities for both buyers and renters who are looking for a new home.
According to census data from 2020, the population of Boston and the surrounding areas grew by 9.3 percent over the last decade.
Since the worst months and years of the pandemic, a lot of remote workers have remained remote. Their employers are allowing them to work from home full-time or at least part of the time. This trend seems here to stay, at least for workers who can effectively get their jobs done remotely.
What does this mean for the housing market in Boston, and how can you leverage this trend to increase the value of your investment property?
Remote Work Helps to Raise Housing Prices
The average rent in Boston is now over $2,000 a month, and if you’re looking to buy a property, you’ve likely noticed that home values are also higher than ever.
This increase in housing prices is due mostly to a high demand, a low inventory, and of course inflation.
Remote work has impacted prices as well.
According to experts and a study produced by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the growth in remote work caused an increase in home purchases that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. The increase in demand sparked competitive bidding for properties, and that helped the sales prices to rise. In an area like Boston, where a professional might have felt pressured to buy an expensive downtown property in order to stay close to the office, that buyer can now think about new options further outside of the city – in more affordable areas.
Cities like Boston are also more attractive to remote workers who may have been based in New York or Washington, D.C. Those housing markets are still out of reach for buyers and even renters, but in Boston they might find fewer options.
A lot of people restructured their living situations during and immediately after the pandemic. Those shifts have contributed to higher demand and pricier properties.
Boston’s Rental Market Stays Strong with Remote Work
The rental market is experiencing higher prices and more demand, just like the sales market. This means a larger pool of tenants and higher rental values for your investment property.
With housing prices rising so dramatically, a lot of potential buyers in Boston may find themselves needing to rent for a while longer. That’s driving the demand for high-quality rental housing. With remote work, people are more transient as well. Renters can live in multiple cities. Someone who works for a company in Seattle, for example, can come and live in Boston for a year without giving up their job. That flexibility and a more nomadic sensibility among workers is keeping rental markets in cities like Boston strong.
How Can Your Boston Investment Property Attract Remote Workers?
The remote work trend and the high demand for well-maintained rental properties are both good things if you’re a rental property owner in Boston. Thanks to remote work, you will have an easier time finding a reliable pool of well-qualified tenants. You can also count on higher rental prices.
Here are some of the best ways to position your rental property to attract remote workers.
Make some technology and space upgrades
Your remote working tenants will need strong internet and a dedicated work space. Maybe that’s a den, an additional bedroom, a loft space, or even a large and open floor plan that can accommodate a desk and some good organizing tools. When the space can accommodate remote work, tenants will be attracted to the possibilities.
Internet is perhaps just as important to remote workers as all the other utilities. You might leave it up to your tenants to choose their own internet providers, but be prepared to make some recommendations on which local providers offer the best packages and the strongest speeds.
Another way to help your property stand out in the market is by offering Wi-Fi in the rent. This doesn’t have to be forever, but if you offer it as an incentive for the first three months, you’ll get the attention of tenants who may be grateful that they don’t have to worry about establishing their own account after moving in. They’ll have the internet available and working so they can get started as soon as they pick up the keys.
Consider some of the additional technology you might be able to offer. Smart home tech is becoming more and more popular, and remote workers looking for a new home will appreciate technology upgrades such as video doorbells, digital keys, and the ability to sync thermostats, appliances, and security devices to their phones via an app.
Remote workers have pets
Pet ownership rose during the pandemic, and that’s because people began to appreciate the company of a dog or cat while they were spending most of their time at home. A pet-friendly property, therefore, will be a big benefit to remote workers in Boston.
Parking for Your Property
A lot of Boston tenants didn’t bother having a car when they had to commute into work every day. They knew that parking in Boston is expensive, so the public transportation options likely seemed more reasonable. Now that they don’t have to worry about that commute, many people are buying cars for recreational purposes.
They’ll need parking at home.
Offer secure, easy parking with your property. In a single-family home, that might mean a garage or a well-maintained driveway. If you’re renting out a condo or a townhouse without assigned parking, make sure there’s ample available in a lot or a garage.
We don’t anticipate that workers will return to the office if they don’t have to. When you want to earn as much as you can in rent and attract the best possible remote workers to your Boston rental property, make sure you’re prepared to welcome them. We can help. Contact us at Platinum Realty Group for all of your Boston property management and real estate needs.