The Best and Worst Months to Sign a Lease

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Leasing between December and March is a lot less profitable than other times of the year. Find out when the best time to lease is.

For consumers, the best and cheapest months to sign a lease are between December and March and the worst time is May through October, according to a recent survey by RentHop, based on its top 10 metro areas.

Peak-to-trough (most expensive month versus least expensive month) differences are between 4 percent and 5.4 percent for one-bedroom apartments and 2.3 percent and 5.8 percent for two-bedroom apartments across the 10 metros.

The dollar savings (depending on city and apartment size) are between $37 and $171 per month (for 1-bedroom apartments) and $36 and $191 for 2-bedroom apartments.

New York had the largest one-bedroom seasonality (5.4 percent) whereas Chicago had the highest two-bedroom seasonality (5.8 percent).

The theory that wintry weather is keeping people away might have merit. RentHop reports the correlation of 0.47 between peak-to-trough temperature variations in a city and peak-trough rental price variations (average of one- and two-bedrooms).

Similarly, the enrolled college students as a percentage of the metro population also seem to have a minor impact, with a weak correlation of 0.29. A rough look shows that the five cities with highest enrolled student percentage had an average seasonal variation of 4.4 percent vs 3.4 percent for cities with lowest student percentage.

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