Summer rents too high? Some renters just wait it out

Renters will “go nomad” for a few months in hopes of scoring a better deal
August 04, 2017 12:11PM

NYC Apartments (Credit: Leslie J. Garfield)

Would-be renters who want to save a good chunk of change are avoiding the summer rental rat race in New York City. Instead, they’re “going nomad.”

The practice is rooted in renters putting off signing a lease until the fall or even winter, when they can find apartments discounted by several hundred dollars a month, according to the New York Times. They’ll couchsurf, stay with relatives or even Airbnb apartments outside the city until they find the right deal.

Graduation, employment cycles and weather make summer the most common time of year for people to move. Recent grads moving to the city tend to provide it with a constant stream of new renters during the summer, and people are generally less eager to move during New York’s winter weather.

Property owners try to take advantage of this cycle by staggering leases to have them expire in May or June, when demand is higher, said Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats. Even small-time landlords employ the tactic.

“As a D.I.Y. landlord myself, I’ve experienced that first hand,” said Ryan Coon, CEO of real estate tech platform Rentalutions. “If I have units that are being rented during the summer, I am able to charge 10 to 20 percent more in rent. So in big cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, 10 to 20 percent is a very meaningful dollar amount.”

In the winter, when demand is slower, landlords tend to offer bigger concessions, like free rent or even a Netflix subscription, said Grant Long, an economist with StreetEasy. [NYT]Eddie Small