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5 Things You Should Know About Seasonality in Apartment Renting

By: Sania Tran
March 18, 2019

Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash

Just like retail, sports and produce, renting has seasonality, and follows the same seasonal patterns each year. Being familiar with these trends is important for both renters and landlords alike. The former could benefit from knowing the cheapest months to rent, the latter could figure out when is the best time to increase rent prices. With this in mind, we put together a list of things you should know about seasonality in apartment renting.

1. Apartment searches pick up from December to January and increase steadily until their peak in July.

When the winter holidays are over, many people start to think about accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions pertaining to their quality of life. For some, it means improving their living conditions. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that December and January are the months when many start looking for new apartments. July is the peak month for apartment searches when many try to secure a rental before it starts getting colder. Knowing this about seasonality in apartment renting, could help you save big bucks.

2. People that start their rental search at the beginning of the year take longer to move.

There are different types of renters based on their search behaviour. One of them is called “planners”. This type takes a longer time to make decisions. Planners usually start their search earlier in the year and patiently wait for a perfect apartment to appear on the market.

3. The moving season starts in March and peaks in August.

For many reasons summer months are the most popular for moving. Former high school students look for apartments and rooms in college towns, college grads move to major cities with job opportunities, families try to relocate before the start of the school year. All these factors play a huge role in the seasonality in apartment renting. On top of these reasons, summer is just a better and more practical time to move. Renters in San Francisco or Los Angeles might not be as concerned about weather conditions. However, residents of cities like Chicago or Boise are likely to avoid moving during winter months when snowstorms and icy roads can impede the move.

4. “Off-season” months are best for lowest rental prices.

Since the demand for rental housing is at its lowest in winter, December and January are the best months to secure a rental. Most property managers try to keep their vacancies low and are more willing to negotiate during times of year when it’s harder for them to fill their units. Although, the selection of apartments might not be as big compared to warmer months of the year, if budget is your concern, winter is the best time for your apartment search.

5. Peak-season offers a better selection of apartments, but be ready to pay up.

If you are willing to shell out for a better location and extra amenities, start looking in spring and summer months. Since people prefer to move during the warmer time of the year, a lot of apartments appear on the rental market. But make sure to act fast and be ready to move ASAP. Property managers are usually inundated with leads and applications, and won’t wait too long for you to make a decision. Subsequently, rents increase in summer due to increased demand and limited vacancies.

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