Home Insights By the numbers: The best month to find a new rental

By the numbers: The best month to find a new rental

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The housing market is very seasonal – different parts of the year are busy or quiet as expected. The rental market is no exception. So, if you’re renting, when is the best time to see it?

Easy Answer: You have the most options to choose from in January, but you’ll pay a little more. If you can see the second half of the year, you may find a slightly cheaper deal.

Most options

January is the busiest time of the year in the rental market, with more new listings on the market than any other month. On average, new rentals in January are 16% more than in regular months. In contrast, December is the quietest.

This is true regardless of which city you are trying to rent. New rental properties are 10-20% higher in January than the average month for all capitals. Only Canberra is slightly against the trend. January is busy in Canberra, but November is even busier.

So why is so much activity concentrated in January?

The simple answer is that January is a time of turmoil in the rental market. People try to move at the beginning of the year, which means they move from their current rent, which brings that rent to the market.

Of course, if the rental property is on the market because the previous tenant has moved, more people will be considering moving in January.

And that’s exactly what we are seeing. In January, more people are searching for rentals on realestate.com.au than in any other month.


January will offer more rental options, but will also be more competitive with other future lessors. So finding a bargain is probably difficult.

When doing so teeth What is the cheapest time to find a rental property?

This is a complicated question as prices rise over time. December is usually more expensive than January. This is because prices can rise during that period.

We would like to abstract from this “trend” price increase and find a month with high or low prices as expected. Economists call this “seasonal”.

We found that the most seasonally expensive month is the beginning of the year, especially February. There are many options to choose from from the beginning of the year, but the competition is fierce and the rent will be a bit higher.

April and May are the cheapest months. However, April is also one of the months with the fewest new rents to choose from (except December). You may come across something a little cheaper in April or May, but it will be hard to find.

There are some differences between the capitals, but the general pattern applies. It’s more expensive at the beginning of the year. April and May are cheap.

However, finding a rental property in May doesn’t save you a lot. Seasonality means that rents in May are on average about 0.9% cheaper than would otherwise be expected. Based on ABS’s average weekly rent estimate (about $ 360), this saves just under $ 200 a year.[1] The same is true for February. This is the most expensive month, but the price is about 1% higher.

[1]Housing Occupancy and Costs 2017/18..

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