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The Harsh Realities of Boston Housing

What should students expect from on and off-campus living options?

By: Allyn Tucker

Picture of a living room with plants and furniture
Photo By: Andrew Burke Stevenson

Looking for convenient, affordable Boston housing? It might be time for a reality check. As upperclassmen look to move off campus, reasonably priced options are severely limited. With the expense of living in Boston increasing to 124% higher than the national average, as described in a report by Payscale, Boston University’s on-campus housing is filling up faster than ever.  


According to a Zumper report, in Boston’s current housing market, the average monthly rent is about 3,060 dollars, awarding Boston the title of the second most expensive city for rentals in the United States in 2022. The reason for the city’s jump in prices, detailed by Zumper, is a shortage of available housing. The demand for housing surpasses Boston’s supply, and the city’s high population of students only adds stress to the housing market. 


“The city is practically unlivable for people who don’t have a steady income, and, for students who pay for their own housing, balancing school and tons of work isn’t feasible,” said Sara Takiguchi (CAS ‘24).


With Boston’s increase in housing prices, more and more students are choosing to live in on-campus housing. Because of BU’s housing lottery, housing outside of the large first-year-based dormitories, including Myles Standish Hall, Stuvi, and the Bay State Road Brownstones, fills up before incoming sophomores reach their scheduled selection times. 


“Picking housing last semester was like a bloodbath,” said Amanda Brucculeri (COM ‘26). “All of the housing options my friends and I had planned for were gone before any of us had the chance to pick. Living in first-year dorms for the second year in a row is really frustrating.”


Although residents hope the struggle to find high-quality housing will end soon, Boston’s recent rent prices haven’t seen any significant changes. The housing market struggles are set to continue, so BU students should be sure to solidify housing plans prior to the school’s spring housing lottery.  

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