Is There a Season for Rentals?
There is no crystal ball to predict the real estate market
In the fall and winter we are often asked, “Is this a bad season to try and rent a house?” The other frequently asked question is, “If I wait until December or January, will rents be lower?” The answer to both of these questions:
After 30 years in real estate and property management, there are some general markers that this time of year elicits. People don't want to move over the holidays and landlords often utilize holiday downtime to do rental property updates. The first example suggests tenants are few and landlords may struggle to rent available property; the second means properties may not be available. So, is it more difficult to find a tenant in the winter, or harder to find an available property to rent?
Additional elements play into these questions.
Many savvy landlords try to minimize winter downtime by offering incentives to existing tenants to extend leases, thus, making the property available during the more lucrative spring season. With landlords working on fix-ups through the fall and winter – or extending leases – inventory can be scarce and finding an affordable rent can be arduous.
With low inventory, one approach to help a tenant is to obtain a 16- to 18-month lease term to avoid such situations in the future.
There is no season for furnished rentals.
Furnished rentals vary in size from 2-bedroom/1 bathroom, all the way up to 5-bedroom/6 bathroom. The reasons people rent fully furnished units are varied. Visiting nurses and doctors in town on contract basis present a constant flow with no slow periods.
Another consistent tenant need is remodeling. Many people plan remodeling projects in the early fall and find themselves in need of a furnished rental during the term of they project. Almost always, there are construction delays, so these tenants typically sign leases with the option to extend to accommodate any unforeseen developments.
Another concern is insurance loss. Insurance companies reach out to InTransit Properties when they have a client whose current home is uninhabitable. These contracts can range from three months to three years. Again, there is no way to predict when such a loss may occur.
Family homes located in desirable school districts presents particular parameters. The best time to lease this type of home is between May and August. If a landlord brings this type of property to market in October, there is a good chance the home will sit vacant, as most families wish to be settled and registered for school by August. However, if a tenant is looking for lower rents, this situation may offer a good deal. But most landlords will ask for a shorter lease term, so their property will become available during the school migration season.
There is no crystal ball, especially when inquiring about Colorado real estate in 2018 and looking ahead to 2019. However, there are swings that experienced property managers can look out for.
Yet, even all of that knowledge can be turned on its head.
So, is this a bad season to try and rent a house? If you wait until December or January will the rents be lower? The answer to both of these questions: Maybe.