We’re all aware that mean rent prices are gradually going up (and up and up), but you might not be aware of another apartment pricing issue: namely, price fluctuation. This means that you could go tour an apartment and get a quote for it on Saturday only to find that the price is entirely different the following Monday.
There are a number of reasons why apartment prices fluctuate, which is why it’s important for you to know what causes them to change and how to use that information to get the best rate you possibly can.
Let’s learn about why these rates change and how you can potentially save thousands of dollars by just following a few simple rules:
Landlords Use Software that Calculates Rent
You know when you’re searching for airline tickets one evening for a trip back home, and then the next morning you check and the price has gone up $75? Often, the reason why is because airline companies use what’s called dynamic pricing software, which uses algorithms to determine the best prices for tickets on certain days and even certain times.
Many landlords are starting to use this type of software as well — especially if they own apartment complexes with several units inside each building. Using both internal information, such as square footage and number of bedrooms, and external information, like the strength of the market, competing prices, and total occupancy, it helps them maximize revenue on every single unit. Dynamic pricing software might be one of the biggest reasons for spontaneous price fluctuations, as these kinds of programs are becoming more popular with each passing day.
Rents Change Depending on the Season
Most people move during the summer. According to Allied Movers, 40 million Americans move each year, and half of those moves happen during the summer. Summer moves are popular because, let’s face it, no one wants to carry boxes up and down flights of stairs when it’s icy outside. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the move interrupting the school year, and work tends to slow down during the summer months.
Because of this summer surge, rent prices tend to increase drastically during this time. Early fall also tends to see a bit of a surge, particularly if you live in a college town (because students are moving back after summer break).
The best time to get lower rental rates is during the winter, specifically between December and March. During these months, landlords are trying to move empty units, giving you a much higher chance of negotiating a lower monthly rent.
Of course, it you’re already living in an apartment, chances are you’re locked into a lease that doesn’t end until at least late May. Unless you can move during the winter months without having to pay too much to get out of your lease, you may not end up saving that much overall. However, if you just so happen to be looking for a new apartment during the winter, you can most likely save some major dollars on rent.
Rents Change if the Local Market is Strong
If you’re moving to Manhattan, you probably know you’re going to be up against a pretty tough rental market. Other areas of the country, however, tend to change their rental prices depending on how strong their housing markets are.
The rental market mostly changes based on availability, which of course depends on how the city’s overall economy is doing. Typically, places that are doing well economically (think Denver, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco) tend to have higher rental rates because more people are moving there and creating a housing shortage. Of course, this can fluctuate over time, as cities are constantly thinking of new ways to attract young talent and become the next big “it” location.
Rents Change Depending on the Time of the Month
People move in and out of apartments all the time, which means that every month a landlord is having to evaluate how many units they have available for new tenants. Rents tend to be cheaper at the beginning of each month, because that’s when the most units will be available to rent. Prices will start to go up as the month goes on and the units start to fill up.
Rents Change Depending on the Day of the Week
Just like airplane ticket prices, apartment prices can also fluctuate depending on the day. Research shows that the best rates are typically found on Mondays and Fridays, while the most expensive days to secure an apartment are Tuesdays of Sundays.