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February 01, 2018

These are the best and worst times to sign an apartment lease in Philly

Pick the right season and a renter can save hundreds of dollars a year

Housing Rent
One Water Street PMC Property Group/Source

The view from inside an apartment at One Water Street.

Winter isn’t exactly apartment-hunting season in Philadelphia, but maybe more should look to sign leases during the colder months: It could end up saving renters hundreds of dollars a year.

According to new data from apartment search site RentHop, prices in Philly rentals drop off when the temperature also drops. For renters looking for a two-bedroom apartment, November and December moves could help score rent that’s nearly 4 percent less than that in peak season, in May. At a $1,500 monthly rate, for example, cold weather moving could save renters up to $60 a month – $720 a year.

Inflated rent prices are at their worst May through August, a rate reflecting the academic school year and when a lot of college students are looking for an off-campus places to live during a very narrow timeline.

Another reason for the price drop? Moving in the cold is just annoying. Walking around to visit apartments and the chaos of actual moving day are far less appealing when you have frosty temperatures or snow to contend with, plus if you’re obsessive about holiday decorations, your plans could be thwarted.

This trend is reflective not only of Philly, but in most top 10 metropolitan areas. One-bedroom rent can vary from 4-5.4 percent based on the season, while two-bedroom apartments have a 2.3-5.8 percent variance, RentHop reports.