Growing & Changing Boston

by c21commonweath_ldowling 21. January 2014 22:16

A new report has everyone in Boston buzzing about the future. In order to keep up with the economy and encourage growth, this city, just past its 400th year in 2040, will have to create up to 435,000 new housing units, according to the Metropolitan Area Housing Council. These housing units will have to cater to a graying Boston population as well as new and young workers and their families.

Considering the Boston population is around 630,000, this means that Boston will have to virtually double in size over the next 25 years. This is a tall order for any city. This means Boston will have to jumpstart construction and find space to expand the population.

Fortunately, construction is increasing in Massachusetts. Permits for over 12,000 new housing units were taken out in 2013. The pace of construction will have to be much increased for Boston to grow – more than 16,000 units will have to be built a year, just in the Boston area. Just over 8,000 were approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in 2013, which means Boston development will have to be doubled.

Where will they go? Having to create that many units presents an interesting problem, since so much of Boston is surrounded by water. Units have been built by Fenway Park recently, and in the South End. Kendall Square is growing, as M.I.T. owns a lot of property in the area, devoting some of it to housing along with eating, entertainment, and of course research.

If you are Boston home buyer, or seller, what does this all mean for you? More housing should make Boston more affordable, so as a Boston seller, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you seller sooner rather than later. Some of the housing will be designed for retirees in mind, so the transition is fairly logical – as seniors downsize, new buyers at the height of their earning power will step in. If you are a Boston renter looking to buy, the future looks a bit brighter today. Rents in Boston are notoriously high, and Boston buyers have been searching high and low for homes in the Boston area. If housing needs can be met, over the course of the next two decades, more affordable housing should be coming to you.


Will Boston grow as much and as quickly as this report suggests it must? Let us know what you think in the comments!