Winter may be the best time to rent an apartment

Personal Finance

Spring and summer are typically a hot time in the housing market. But if you’re flexible and looking to rent, shifting your search to cooler months can help you score a deal.

A recent study from apartment listing site RentHop found that renters could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year by timing their apartment search. The data showed that the cheapest months to rent tended to be between December and March, whereas the most expensive fell between May and October.

RentHop looked at trends in 10 major cities across the U.S. The average prices of 1 and 2-bedroom apartments each month were compared to find seasonal cost differences.

The seasonal price differences for one-bedroom apartments ranged from 4 percent to 5.4 percent, and for two-bedroom apartments, from 2.3 percent to 5.8 percent. Potential savings varied widely by city, neighborhood and apartment size.

Another new analysis from listing site StreetEasy found similar seasonal differences for the New York City housing market. With units lingering in the winter, landlords are more willing to negotiate in order to get rid of the leftover inventory — leading to a higher number of discounts, said Nancy Wu, an economic analyst for StreetEasy.

The trend of summer demand isn’t limited to big cities, either, said Lawrence Zhou, a data scientist from RentHop. People throughout the country tend to search for apartments more frequently in the summer, he said.

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