Posted Jan 21, 2015

Seasonality Strikes: Where Rental Rates Went Down in Q4

Seasonality is a key aspect of apartment hunting– did you know that most Americans move between May and September? Why is this important for savvy renters to know? If you’re looking to land a great deal on renting an apartment, you should know that Winter is the prime season to begin your apartment hunt!

Seasonality Strikes Where Rental Rates Went Down in Q4

Less people move during the cold winter months, so apartment hunters are likely to find better deals from landlords who are willing to negotiate their prices due to the lower supply of apartment seekers to fill their vacancies.

Few people have the time to look for apartments around the holidays between all of the parties, family gatherings, and gift buying to focus on; but property companies still need to fill vacancies so they aren’t losing money on empty units.

In big cities, this trend might be less prominent due to high demand, but you can still venture out into the cold and find a fantastic new place to live.

Across the U.S., apartment rental rates went down in several major cities as of the fourth quarter, confirming that Winter is the perfect time to snag the living space of your dreams. In fact, Lovely data revealed that five major U.S. cities did exhibit a decrease in rental rate during Q4 of 2014.

New York

The average rental rate in New York went down a remarkable 5.36% between Q3 and Q4 of 2014.

Seasonality Strikes Where Rental Rates Went Down in Q4- New York

Though year over year, the rent in New York has risen approximately 1%, the Q4 average rental rate is the lowest of 2014 at about $2,650. This means it’s the perfect time to sign a lease before rates shoot up in the spring.

While the rental rate will likely steadily increase as the weather warms, odds are you can still find a lower rate during the frigid first few weeks of the new year. Make sure not to miss out, because once the snow starts disappearing, so will great deals on rental rates.

Washington DC

Washington, D.C., saw a more modest quarter-over-quarter decline, as rental rates went down 2.27%. What’s more, year-over-year rental prices in D.C. are down 1.6% and in general appear to show less of a spike during the summer months.

Seasonality Strikes Where Rental Rates Went Down in Q4 - Washington DC

Ideally, this could mean a steady decline in rent for the capital city, but it’s still smart to make a move now and cash in during the winter months.

Interestingly enough, Q2 and Q3 of 2014 had lower rental rates than the respective 2013 quarters, despite the fact that this is usually the busiest time of year for renting apartments. All in all, this could be good tidings for those in D.C.


The average rental rate in Philadelphia decreased 3.85% in Q4. However, year-over-year, the average price has gone up more than 11% in the City of Brotherly Love. With that kind of increase, it’s important to take advantage of any discounts you can get.

Seasonality Strikes Where Rental Rates Went Down in Q4 - Philadelphia

The cold season seems a perfect time to strike on a new apartment in this city. With the overall rising rate in rent, cashing in on seasonality will help ensure that you don’t break the bank.


The rental rate in Boston went down 2.13% last quarter, bringing the median rental rate to where it stood as of Q2 2014, at $2,300. Year over year, the median rental rate in Boston has seen nearly a 7% increase, with the rental rate in every quarter of 2014 other than Q1 costing more than the respective 2013 quarter.

Seasonality Strikes Where Rental Rates Went Down in Q4 - Boston

In this case, taking advantage of seasonality is extremely important as it is likely the price of a Boston apartment will continue to spike.

San Jose

While the rental rate of a San Jose apartment is only down 0.19%, winter still seems to be the ideal time to look for a new living space, because San Jose rental rates seem to be skyrocketing.

Seasonality Strikes Where Rental Rates Went Down in Q4 - San Jose

In fact, year over year, the rental rate has risen more than 14%! This type of growth means seasonality might be your only saving grace when finding an affordable apartment. Luckily, you won’t have to trudge out into the snow in San Jose to lock down a new apartment this winter.

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Seasonality Strikes- Where Rental Rates Went Down in Q4

Photo Credit: Stanley Zimnythierry teteZach SternDylan T. MoorePhilip BorensteinPeter Thoeny

Methodology: Trends represented in the Lovely Rental Market report reflect Q4 2014 rental market data based on the comprehensive set of aggregated rental inventory posted on Lovely between January 2012 and December 2014, and is no longer active.

Prices reported are as indicated upon posting and do not capture the final pricing terms on closed lease agreements. In addition to Lovely’s posting platform, Lovely Pro, Lovely obtains listings by partnering with over 70 external providers to populate its marketplace with rental listings.


Stacee is the Content Manager at Lovely. She is an ice cream connoisseur who loves traveling, baking, and animals. Her guilty pleasures are karaoke and Flaming Hot Cheetos.

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