According to the Boston Globe, area rents are up 4.2 percent this year. This is the largest rent hike in seven years. The average monthly rent in the metro-Boston area increased to $1,659 in the third quarter of 2008 from $1,592 in the third quarter of 2007. Demand for rental properties is on the rise mainly due to repercussions of the mortgage crises. If you are an investor, this is a great time to buy and lock in a low rate while demand and inflation push the rental prices skyward.