The Best Time Of Year To Look For A Rental Property

Nobody looks forward to moving, but sometimes you need to relocate to a different area or just need more or less space in your current locale. In some cases, you might not have the flexibility to pick the perfect time of the year to get the best selection or the best deal on your new home or apartment, but renters with some leeway will want to pay attention to seasonality.


According to, the average rent price in the United States for October 2023 stands at $2,011 per month. That's up more than 20% from the same time in 2020, emphasizing the housing inflation that's squeezing budgets following the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, you need every advantage possible when selecting what's probably your largest expense each month. 

Not surprisingly, many of the same parameters that apply to the best time to buy or sell a home also apply to renting a home or apartment. Rent rates are typically the highest from May through September and the lowest in the winter, especially around the December holidays. Let's take a deeper dive as to why that is.

The selection is better in summer, but at a cost

During the late-spring and summer, there's typically a lot of lifestyle changes occurring. Families with children will want to leave their old dwelling after the previous school year ends, but be settled in by the time the new school year begins. Older students are also involved in the shuffle, with high schoolers moving to college and college graduates perhaps relocating for their first real job. That's not to mention that it's just easier to move during warmer months. It's more pleasant to drive long distances and to carry furniture and boxes. Heck, it's even more pleasant to tour rental properties in nice weather.


Because of all the activity happening over the summer months, this is the time to get the best selection. More rental homes and apartments will become vacant and get listed than in other times of the year, so you have a better chance of finding the perfect fit — the home or apartment that checks every box on your list. However, landlords are keen to the increased demand too, so don't expect to see many or any deals during the summer months. You'll also face increased competition from other renters, which may require a quick decision or even applying on-the-spot during a showing, which some personality types may find stressful. 

Moving during the holidays can yield the best deal

If you're truly chasing the best deal, then get your winter jacket ready. October through April typically finds the lowest rental rates, particularly right around the December holiday season. Many renters don't want the hassle of moving — or even looking for that matter — in frigid or snowy weather. This strategy may be somewhat less effective in places with mild climates like the sunbelt states, but there are other non-weather related reasons that thin the competition.


Between the times of Thanksgiving and New Years, many apartment shoppers will be busy preparing for the holidays, traveling, going to social gatherings, or a combination of all three. The thought of moving during that time is daunting, plus it's the middle of the school year for children. There won't be as much pressure to make your decision to rent a particular apartment or home as quickly and you might even be able to negotiate a discount. 

Per, over 40% of moves happen over the summer, compared to only 5% in November and December. If you do decide to hire professional movers, you may find them to be more available and potentially less expensive than other times of the year. If there's a downside, it's that not as many properties will be listed and available for rent, so you might not get every last feature that you're looking for in your next abode. But sometimes compromise can lead to a great deal and it's only temporary, after all.