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Rental Concessions Become More Common as Market Softens

Across the United States, the number of rental listings advertising concessions – move-in specials such as…

  • November 27, 2018

Across the United States, the number of rental listings advertising concessions – move-in specials such as rent discounts, gift cards and free streaming services – is greater now than it was a year ago, according to a new analysis from rental search platform HotPads.

Nationwide, the number of rental listings on HotPads mentioning a concession has increased 15.8 percent over the past year, and rent discounts are the most common type of concession. Still, concessions are relatively rare – renters can expect to see a concession advertised in about 1 in 100 rental listings on HotPads.

In Chicago, Miami and Atlanta, the number of rental listings mentioning a move-in special has more than doubled in the past year.

Annual rent growth has remained flat or slowed in each of these markets since September 2017, and each of these metro areas has ramped up building for new rental units in the past few years.

Move-in specials are growing the most at the high end of the rental market.

The number of high-end rental listings mentioning a concession has risen nearly 20 percent in the past year, compared to a 7.5 percent annual increase in concessions among the most affordable listings.

Nationally, renters can expect to see concessions mentioned in about 1 in 75 high-end rental listings on HotPads.

Annual rent growth is slowing nationwide, due in part to increased construction and slower demand.

These same factors can lead to a rise in concessions, as landlords and property managers may offer move-in specials to catch renters’ attention in a slowing market.

Rental listings in Milwaukee and Portland mention concessions the most. Renters in the Milwaukee and Portland metro areas can expect to see rental concessions in about 1 in every 50 rental listings – or about twice as often as the national average.

In some markets, such as Washington, D.C., and San Antonio, demand is outpacing rapid gains in supply, coinciding with a decrease in the number of move-in specials on the market.

Despite this decline, renters in Washington, D.C. and San Antonio can still expect to see rental concessions mentioned in about 1 in every 100 rental listings, on par with the national average.

Renters seeking a deal on their next home or apartment can use HotPads’ search filters to help them capitalize on the rise in concessions. HotPads’ search filters include an option that allows renters to limit their search to only include properties with listing promos. Find out more at HotPads.com.

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