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Willard D. Cunningham's Blog

By Willard D. Cunningham | Broker in Somerville, MA

Rent control coming back? Not likely in Boston metro

Rent control was in effect in Cambridge when I first moved to Boston in 1994. I never had the luxury to live in one of these low priced units, but rents sure seemed reasonable compared to 2012. I paid $575/month for a 500sf studio in Brighton in 1994. By the time I left that apartment ~2000, the price had increased to $1100/month. Wow! Imagine how prices for property as an investment changed in Cambridge since they lifted rent controls in 1995.

According to an article by Peter Tatian of the Atlantic Cities:

<More recently, a MIT study of the 1995 repeal of rent control in Cambridge, Massachusetts, found that investment in housing increased after rent control ended, leading to "major gains in housing quality." A National Bureau of Economic Research paper also examined the Cambridge experience and concluded that “elimination of rent control added about $1.8 billion to the value of Cambridge’s housing stock between 1994 and 2004, equal to nearly a quarter of total Cambridge residential price appreciation in this period.” These findings have been used to argue for removal of rent control in New York and other places.>

Prices for 2 and 3-family properties in Cambridge and the Boston metro area seemed to jump from 1999 to 2000. Rents also started their ascent from the mid-1990s and have trended higher through the financial crisis which started in 2007. 

Here is the article for your convenience. It's a good read!


Willard D. Cunningham

Willard Cunningham, Broker/Principal

 (617) 921-4758 cell/direct


MA License# 9077116
1953 Massachusetts Ave.
Ste. 400775
Cambridge, MA 02140
MA License: 9011


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