Unlocking the Secrets of Seasonal Rent Trends in 2023
Seasonal rent trends are the changes in the rental market that coincide with fluctuations in moving activity throughout the year. These are often driven by location, changes in the weather, school calendars, and local job markets. Being familiar with these trends is essential for both renters and landlords alike. For example, renters can benefit from knowing the cheapest months to rent, while landlords can determine when is the best time to increase rent prices.
With this in mind, we put together a list of things landlords and renters should know about seasonality in the apartment market.
How Does Seasonality Impact Apartment Searches?
Apartment searches are lowest at the end of the year in December. They, then, pick up from December to January and increase steadily until their peak in July. Many people start thinking about accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions when the winter holidays are over. For some, that means improving their living conditions, which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that December and January are the best months to apartment hunt.
July is the peak month for apartment searches, as many try to secure a rental before it gets colder. Therefore, renters are better off aiming for the winter months if they’re looking for the cheapest time to get an apartment. Strategic thinking like this can help them save big bucks in the long run.
How Does Seasonality Impact Moving?
Seasonality can impact moving in a few ways. For instance, moving during peak seasons such as summer may be more expensive due to high demand for moving services. Weather conditions during different seasons can also affect the moving process, especially if transportation services are needed to transfer personal belongings over a long distance.
Renters in San Francisco or Los Angeles might not be as concerned about weather conditions. However, when deciding when to rent an apartment, residents of cities like Chicago or Boise often avoid moving during winter when dealing with snowstorms and icy roads.
How Does Seasonality Impact Apartment Rental Prices?
“Off-season” months are the best times of year to rent an apartment for a cheaper price. Since the demand for rental housing is at its lowest in winter, December and January are the best months to rent. Most property managers try to keep their vacancies low and often negotiate when filling their units is harder. The national median rent falls by an average of 1.7% from the summer peak to its lowest point in December or January, in some markets the discount can be even greater. In addition to rent discounts, property managers may also be more likely to offer other incentives during the off season, such as a month of free rent. Try looking for an ‘apartments move-in special’ offer when browsing.
When Is the Best Time to Rent an Apartment?
The best time of year to rent an apartment is in the winter. Here’s why:
Lower Demand in Winter
The best time to apartment hunt is during the winter. reduced demand resulting from individuals' preoccupation with holiday festivities can work in favor of prospective renters by offering less competition and potentially more favorable prices.
Greater Mover Availability
Since fewer people are moving around in the winter, renters will likely find more availability with moving companies. However, keep in mind that unfavorable weather conditions may cause potential delays.
More Time Off for Moving
The winter season naturally offers people more time off due to holidays. Renters use this to their advantage and plan their moves without requesting PTO.
Renters interested in finding an affordable apartment should consider looking around in the winter due to potentially favor pricing changes. Many landlords drop rental rates during this less popular time to avoid long-term vacancies.
Ask about move-in specials during winter months. Since it’s a less popular time for renters, landlords may be more willing to compromise on a few things.
Why Renters Consider Moving in the Summer
Here are a few reasons many renters favor summer months for their move:
- More Vacant Rentals: Since people prefer to move during the summer months, many apartments appear on the rental market, making it the best time to rent in terms of selection.
- Nice Weather: it’s always easier to transition to new cities and social scenes when dealing with nicer weather.
- Easier Transitions: People also tend to be in more positive spirits during summer, which could make them more open to change.
The summer season offers renters a greater variety of available rentals, pleasant weather for moving, and a more optimistic mindset for navigating new beginnings.
While the decision of when to move ultimately rests with the individual, it is important for both renters and landlords to consider the seasonal rent trends that can significantly impact the rental market. Renters should carefully weigh the factors involved in a winter move and the potential cost savings that may be associated with it, while landlords may need to adjust rental rates to avoid long-term vacancies during this period. By taking the time to evaluate these considerations, both parties can make informed decisions that lead to long-term success in the rental market.