Different seasons affect our moods (for better or worse), our choice in clothes and even our tastes in food.
In much the same way, the seasons affect the rental cycle – which can mean the difference between your property being quickly snapped up, or lingering vacant for weeks on end.
It’s commonly known amongst real estate professionals that the market ebbs and flows with the change of weather.
Typically, summer is a ‘hot’ time in the market, while winter gives investors the cold shoulder.
Even the way you market your property is affected.
A strategy that works at one time of year may not work six months later.
While all this is a little difficult to believe, it’s worth bearing in mind and highlights the need for an experienced property manager who knows how to keep your property tenanted whether the sun is shining or not.
Here’s how the seasonal cycles affect the rental market:
Traditionally, summer is one of the most active rental market seasons.
Vacancy rates tighten up and there’s competition amongst prospective tenants.
Think about it yourself: have you ever woken up on a bright summer morning and felt energised and enthusiastic?
In the hot months of a new year, people are ready to make big life changes – like finding a new place to live.
The stars align in summer.
At this time of year, people are on holidays and have time to attend inspections.
Uni students who have finished study are looking to enter the workforce and relocate to their new jobs or employment hubs.
End-of-year shakeups also occur, like teachers being reassigned to different schools, or military staff relocating.
This is a brilliant season for owners, with enough competition to potentially increase the asking rent.
Winter and autumn:
Like a slumbering bear, the rental market hibernates in the chilly months.
People don’t want to move during the cold weather.
Their jobs are generally stable, the kids are in school, and going out to inspect new homes isn’t a very appealing prospect.
This puts the market into the tenant’s hands.
There can be plenty of rentals up for grabs and they may be able to bargain some extras into their lease if the owner is facing long vacancy times.
It may even mean owners need to drop asking rents slightly to keep their property occupied.
Although spring is a season of new beginnings, and the chill of winter is fading, it’s still not a time that’s traditionally very active in the rental market.
That’s because it’s the predecessor of Christmas and all the craziness that comes with it: end-of-year functions and events, weekend shopping and holidays away.
People are often too busy to shop for a new home, telling themselves instead that they’ll start hunting ‘once Christmas is over’.
They also don’t want to add packing all up of their worldly possessions into their already busy schedule, so they delay it until the pressure eases.
Hence, Christmas acts like the starting gate for the active summer rental season.
Once people are out of it, they’re more prepared to start setting their minds on new accommodation.
While that might cause problems for investors in the moment, there’s hope just around the corner in the summer months.
History shows there are plenty of people with a New Year’s Resolution that includes finding a new home.