When is The Best Time of Year to Rent a Home?
A question tenants often have is about the best times of year to rent a property. Are the best deals in the winter, does spring have people pining for a new home, are some renter getting hot under the collar for a two-bed property with a terrace in the summer, or does autumn time make you want to move?
The UK lettings industry is just like any other, in that it’s susceptible to up and downturns. While the UK economy heavily drives the selling market, the rental market isn’t as reliant — although it still plays a factor.
But is there a particular ‘boom period’ during the year, whether the pound is strong or not? There are indeed some myths about which times of year renters get the best deals. We thought that we should take a look to see if there a particular season when renters should be combing through the market.
The consensus is that the back end of the year is the worst time to rent a property. With the festive season in full effect, people have too much on their minds. From seeing family during the holidays to using the period to rest, not many are excited by the idea of trudging round and looking for property in the cold, dark evenings.
While the winter does see lower demand, those actively on the market at this time of year can find a good deal. Landlords will likely want to let their property in what is traditionally a trying time in the market and be more open to negotiation as long as it’s within parameters of the listed rental price.
There is also less competition during the latter end of the year, which means that you could take your pick of the options that are on the market. After all, what would be a better Christmas present than a brand-new home to call yours?
No spring skips its turn
Spring is when flowers bloom, and the nights remain lighter for longer with people moving homes more frequently. From late March onwards the market tends to become more active and the number of properties increase significantly.
While the spring boom brings more choice, it also creates an added layer of competition. It’s not impossible to see rental prices increase slightly at this time of year — especially in the larger cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham, where demand is high.
Aim for the start of the season if you’re moving in the spring and, if possible, avoid the May/June period, which leads into summer. The hotter months of year have the highest rental prices. Which brings us nicely onto the summer season…
Ahh, the summer — hot days, everyone enjoying themselves in the park and a feeling of happiness. Summertime also happens to be when the rental market peaks, hitting its crescendo with students scrambling to find properties in time for the start of the university year.
Again, more demand equates to higher rental prices, and it’s at this time of the year when they peak. We’ve even heard some stories of people taking properties without seeing them, so high is the competition for homes.
While offering on a property without even seeing it in person is at the extreme end of the spectrum, it’s good to be well prepared if you’re on the market during the summer. You might have to pay slightly higher prices, but properties will also be to a high standard, with many landlords wanting to make them as appealing as possible so that they stand out.
The leaves fall, but the properties remain
Once the summer high has gone, things gradually starts slowing down again by the end of September. The good news for renters is that there could still be a high level of properties available which have been finished to a high standard. Prices also drop slightly, and there are deals to be had as landlords want to avoid going into the festive period with empty properties.
The evenings are still quite light around this time of year, which provides extra motivation for those doing property viewings after work. Autumn could prove to be one of the best times to test the rental market in the UK, thanks to more affordable rents.
And the winner is…
If you’re looking for a rough guideline, then we suggest the early part of spring as the best time to rent a property. Landlords make sure their properties are in tip-top condition at this time of year as they prepare for the summer competition.
The time of year that you decide to rent is likely to be based on your personal circumstances, rather than waiting for a particular season. The truth is that any time during the year can bring an excellent rental deal, and it’s mostly down to the circumstances of the landlord and renter.
Letting, the Mashroom way
No matter when you’re looking for a property, the process can be stressful. At Mashroom, we’re reshaping the way people rent and let property. Tenants who are moving out can earn one week’s rent if they secure an incoming tenant, while landlords only pay a fee of 3% for listing on Mashroom.
Intrigued? Find out more and join our community of landlords and tenants for a better way to rent.