Snapshots

Boston isn’t building fast enough to keep up with population growth

Looking back at the last 5 years with data available, the Boston MSA added nearly 210,000 people.

October 23, 2019
  • Looking back at the last 5 years with data available, the Boston MSA added nearly 210,000 people. But the increase in housing is not keeping up. In those same 5 years (from 2012 – 2017), the metro area added nearly 33,000 single-family homes and about 17,000 multifamily units.
  • Assuming average capacity in each is 4 for single-family and 1.5 for multifamily, Boston added enough housing for 156,000 people – a shortfall that failed to accommodate almost 52,000 new residents.
  • Boston was not the worst metro in the country in building enough housing capacity to capture 75% of new resident growth. Cities like San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Atlanta all fared worse.
  • Boston and its suburbs to the immediate north and west were the most underbuilt, while outer suburban locales to the southeast and northeast built faster than population growth.

Source: Census Bureau, JLL Research

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