Boston humming as appeal of life in city booms The century’s first decade has brought a historic surge of newcomers to the city, most settling downtown. They carry fresh expectations — and pose real challenges ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page David L. Ryan/Globe Staff Susan Mai viewed Boston from the roof at her small Beacon Hill apartment. Her devotion to city living is part of a trend. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff Almost everywhere you look, it seems, is a new building site in Boston. People are moving back into the city. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff More than 5,300 homes are under construction in Boston. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff The Factory 63, a newly renovated building in South Boston, includes apartments as small as 375 square feet. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff Housing is going up quickly to meet demand — in 2010 alone, Boston’s population grew by 7,500 people and is now above 625,000. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff The average rent in Boston is $1,700, but there are many at $4,000 or more. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff Crews worked on the upper floors of The Kensington, a new apartment tower going up along Washington Street.