The Most (and Least) Expensive Time to Rent an Apartment

School is winding down for the summer, and many renters are gearing up to find and move into a new apartment before the next school year begins.

However, our latest analysis found that renters looking to move in late spring and early summer can pay a premium for their next home. In 37 of the country’s 50 largest metro areas, the median asking rent for apartments listed on HotPads reaches its highest point for the year in May, June or July.

Nationally, the current median asking rent for all rentals listed on HotPads is $1,540 a month. In June, the median asking rent for apartments listed on HotPads is 4.1 percent higher than average, which equates to spending $63 more on rent every month. Rentals listed in May have the highest premium nationally, at $88 per month.

Those who are willing (and able) to hold out for a deal are most likely to find lower prices in the winter. Nationally, January is the least expensive time to rent a new house or apartment. Compared to other months, the asking rent for a typical home or apartment is 3.3 percent lower in January, equivalent to a $51 discount every month.

However, all real estate is local – and as the market picks up steam, it’s increasingly important that renters understand what’s going on in their own backyard. While most markets peak in the summer, the most expensive time to rent an apartment can vary. For example, in Providence, R.I., the median asking rent price peaks in March. In Columbus, Ohio, the rental market doesn’t peak until September.

Check out the graph below to see which month your rental market peaks, and when you can hope for the best discounts.