Is now a good time to rent?

Originally posted on September 18, 2018 9:13 am
Updated on September 18, 2018 9:35 am

Everyone knows that finding an apartment during the summer is the worst. Why? Because you’re not alone in doing so. Actually, you and thousands of other people who just graduated or moving to commute work choose to move during the summer. That’s just how it’s always been. Summer is just peak renting season.

So what about fall? Is it better to rent then? Technically, the nine last days of September counts as fall as the first day of fall is September 22nd. So is now a good time to rent? Or should you wait until nine days for better deals?

Best time of the year to rent

Back in January this year we did a data study on when is the best time of year to rent, specifically which month. We then found that the “best” or cheapest months to rent tend to be between December and March (early winter to early spring). We also found that the “worst” or most expensive months are in May through October (basically early summer to early fall).

Furthermore, we did find that September was the worst month to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in the city of Atlanta and Boston. We also found that September was a bad month to rent a 2 bedroom apartment for four cities, those cities being Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and Boston. So does that mean you shouldn’t be looking for an apartment right now? Not necessarily.

Technically, yes, September is almost over and we’re getting into the fall season. Also, from our study, October was less expensive than September for most cities selected for the study. So yes, you could wait until October comes around for cheaper rent prices, or you could bite the bullet and find an apartment right now.

Does the month of September automatically mean paying a higher rent?

No, not necessarily. That depends on where you’re looking, what kind of amenities you are looking for, your budget, how many you are sharing an apartment with, and so on. There are so many factors that weigh in other than just how many people are looking to rent at that particular time (which allows owners and landlords to drive the prices up). But it is important to note that the month of September, technically, is in the rental peak season for most cities.

So what can you expect if you are looking to find an apartment right now?

  • You’re not the only one. Demand is still high, meaning you might have a hard time standing out as the best applicant to secure an apartment and while there’s still a big rental inventory, there’s still many looking at the exact apartment you are.
  • The monthly price is still high. Don’t expect to see cheap apartments for rent just because it’s not the month of June and July anymore. September is still considered one of the more expensive months to rent in for most cities.
  • You’ll probably sign a 1-year lease. So what, you say? Well, that means when the lease is up next year, you’ll still find yourself in the predicament that you’ll be looking to find a new apartment in the peak rental season again, or you’re looking to negotiate the monthly rent when there’s a high demand for your apartment. Meaning you’ll be in the same boat next year, or you’ll have less negotiating power with a landlord/owner because the demand for the apartment is high, meaning they could increase the rent if they wanted to because the chance of vacancy is low.
  • Can you still get rental concessions? Yes, you could technically get rental deals and discounts, in the form of one month free for example. But it is more common to find rental concessions when the rental market is down, or getting a rental concession with longer leases. Why? Because it’s about timing. Meaning, a landlord could offer a free month of rent with a lease of 14 months to ensure that the lease is up for renewal during the pricy months again. So take that into consideration as well.
  • If you wait to get an apartment, will the rental inventory go down? If you’re looking to find an apartment in the off-peak season, yes there will be fewer apartments up for rent. But, there will always be apartments up for grab and you’re more likely to get them for less money as fewer people are willing to move closer to the winter months due to the conditions when moving.

So what should you do? Should you spend more money now and get a place or should you wait until the rent prices drop? Ultimately, that’s up to you. If your lease is up now, or you just have to move in general, there are still good deals out there, so don’t fret. If you don’t have to move right now, but can wait a month or two, do it. The monthly rent is more likely to drop, but be aware that the rental inventory could be smaller. But, whatever you chose, you will find an apartment. Happy apartment hunting from RentHop!

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