The most expensive rentals in Boston are more than $20,000 per month

You too can kick back in your four-bedroom penthouse atop one of Back Bay’s top luxury towers, complete with an outdoor patio the size of a small apartment, if you can spend $35,000 on monthly rent.

No oddity, the listing at Trinity Place overlooking Copley Square is part of a growing trend that is seeing rents of the luxury residential market in Boston skyrocket, with monthly payments in the $20,000 range becoming unusually low. It is a trend that is being fueled by the frenzied building of new luxury condo towers in Boston.

By comparison with the $35,000-a-month Trinity Place penthouse, the three-bed, two-bath corner penthouse at the  Mandarin Oriental, just a short walk down Boylston Street, is a steal.

For $24,000 a month, you get a private roof deck with direct elevator access, floor to ceiling windows, and a “designer sleek gourmet kitchen” for your chef to concoct culinary delights in. And you’ll sleep easy in a “sophisticated master suite with luxurious marble bath with soaking tub and walk in closets.”

The Mandarin Oriental kickstarted Boston’s luxury market when it opened in 2008. But now even its $24,000 per month rental is overshadowed by other buildings.

Plus there’s access to all the amenities of a five-star hotel, including a lavish spa/wellness center and “heated sidewalks.” To top it all off, the penthouse has already been renovated, even though the Mandarin Oriental just opened in 2008.

More high-priced luxury condos, like the new Millennium Tower, are expected to hit the market soon. These units are typically bought by investors who then decide to rent them out for top dollar.

The massive monthly payments required to lease some of these luxury units brings a new twist in the never-ending rent versus buy debate. The Mandarin units, for example, will put you out roughly $300,000 a year. Stay three or four years, and you will have enough to buy a million-dollar condo.

But many of these super high-end rentals are paid for by companies who are relocating top executives. Others simply like the convenience of renting. And if you can afford to lay out $20,000 a month, money probably isn’t an issue.

For those high net-worth people who may have multiple homes a $20,000 rental is the price they are willing to pay for the security, convenience and amenities they are used to having and can easily afford. For them, the cost savings of buying vs. renting doesn’t enter the decision-making equation.

When it comes to Boston real estate, convenience comes at a hefty price.


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