As a real estate agent that has been around the block (Get it? It’s a little real estate humor for you) I feel more than qualified to give you the low down on the different rental seasons and what they mean for you as a renter in this glorious city. Everyone and their mother will try and give you advice on this topic but the truth is that when you should be searching depends solely on what holds most value for you as a renter. Allow me to explain.
Winter months, which in the real estate world are generally understood to be November-January, are great for those looking to save some cash. Winter generally means landlords are seeing less movement on their apartments. This benefits you because less movement means landlords are much more willing to negotiate rent prices. You can score yourself a unit for sometimes hundreds of dollars cheaper than it would be any other time of year. Winter also means much less competition. In the summer months, May-September, a good apartment can be gone in the blink of an eye. For those less seasoned the experience can be frustrating and hard to navigate. Winter means you can have yourself a more leisurely apartment search.
When should you consider a summer move? If money isn’t the biggest factor for you summer renting does have some benefits. Maybe you consider yourself someone more concerned with finding yourself a unicorn apartment than saving cash. Unicorn apartments are generally understood to be apartments a cut above the rest. Sometimes this means apartments that are priced incredibly well in a prime location, or unusually large. The term can also be used to describe an apartment that is so exceedingly gorgeous that none of your friends would ever be able to believe you scored it. Why is it easier to find a unicorn in the summer than in the winter? It simply comes down to inventory. Because the rental system in NYC is designed such that more leases end in the summer months than in the winter months, there is naturally more inventory to choose from. If you value variety of choice above all else then summer is your best bet. Let’s not forget the weather element either. Nobody wants to move their furniture anywhere the day after the city has been hit with 2 feet of snow. Summer gives you a reprieve from the unforgivable winter elements.
The rental market in NYC really is a jungle. Both seasons have their pros and cons but now you can feel like whatever month you decide to move you’re making the most informed decision possible. Happy renting New York City!