Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, April 12, 2019

May Is the Worst Month to Rent an Apartment in St. Louis

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 8:04 AM

click to enlarge Apartments on Union Avenue in St. Louis. - FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
Planning to move next month? You might want to wait. A new study from RentHop suggests you'll pay a 4.2 percent premium by entering into a new lease in May instead of waiting until January.

Overall, the study found, renting in St. Louis in January could score you a 2.11 percent discount from the norm. Renting in May, on the other hand, sets you up for a 2.1 percent increase.

The difference between the two — the "peak to trough" difference, as authors call it — is one of the larger differences in the 100 cities surveyed across the country. Miami has a 2.2 percent peak to trough difference, for example, while Dallas is at 2.6 percent. Of the ten largest cities in the country, only New York City is higher than St. Louis, with a 4.7 percent differential.

The RentHop study suggests that both weather and student populations are behind the change. It goes to figure: New graduates tend to make their moves right after commencement. And who would choose to deal with snow and ice during their move if they could avoid it?

Interestingly, the study didn't find a larger student population directly correlated to a larger premium — the authors aren't sure why. However, they did find correlation between a swing in temperatures and a swing in rents. In places like Miami and Los Angeles, people don't need to schedule their move for summer to escape bad weather.

As the authors note, while the percent differences may not be big money, they do add up. According to the authors:

Obviously, dollar savings will be smaller in cities where the cost of living is cheaper. The Texas cities, for example, are around 2x cheaper than New York or Boston (so the dollar savings are also much smaller). However, $600-$800 dollars in savings over a 12-month lease is nothing to scoff at.

Given the opportunity, renters should opt to end their leases near the wintertime (or at least be wary of non-standard lease terms that might push them off a good cycle). They should also be wary of any discounts from “months free” type concessions which won’t stick around for the next renewal. Note, though, that we’re not considering the potentially lower selection during the winter months. Generally, higher turnover means more possible apartments (though they’ll likely get swooped up faster!).

Our takeaway? If you absolutely have to move next month, try to get on a sixteen-month lease. Anything to get off that costly student schedule.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at

Tags: , , ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation