Real Estate

The Best Time to Sign a New Lease in Boston Is During Winter

Renting an apartment is cheapest if you move in January or February.

Photo via iStock/DenisTangneyJr

Getting a deal on an apartment is unheard of in Boston. After all, it is one of the most expensive cities in the country for renters. But there is one way to score a cheaper place this year. You’ll just have to sign your lease…today.

According to a new report from rental search engine RentHop, the best time to rent an apartment in Boston is now, or during wintertime. The site looked at median pricing for one-and two-bedroom apartments throughout the year and found that January and February are the slowest months for new leases.

RentHop identifies February as the best month to move into a one-bedroom, with rents averaging $2,200 per month. January, meanwhile, is the best month to move into a two-bedroom, with rents averaging $2,800 per month. Surprising no one, the absolute worst time to sign a lease in Boston is September 1, when rents are at the highest point they’ll hit all year.

While plenty of other cities see rent increases May through October—when there’s better weather for moving—Boston’s data tells a different story. Rent spikes sharply in September, rather than May, thanks to the city’s annual influx of students. Tens of thousands of young people pack into the city every fall, and it’s estimated about 80 percent of leases turn over on September 1st.

Of course, the higher number of apartments available during September makes breaking the cycle pretty tough. But it looks to be worth it—if you can find a way to sign a wintertime lease, you could save more than a thousand dollars per year. According to RentHop, a two-bedroom apartment in Boston might be around $111 per month cheaper (or $1,332 annually) during January versus September. Similarly, a one-bedroom rented in February is 3.4 percent cheaper, or $78 less per month.

You probably didn’t need a reason to kiss Allston Christmas goodbye, but this is a good one.

Graph via RentHop


Madeline Bilis Associate Editor at Boston Magazine @madelinebilis
mbilis@bostonmagazine.com