(1) Price Change:
The first data we looked at is price change, as that’s the most obvious thing that renters look at. We analyzed the change in rental prices from February to May and found that last year median prices rose 3% during that time frame. Studios, 1 bedrooms 3+ bedrooms all rose in price, while 2 bedrooms dropped in price (though this seems to be due to to the fact that more small 2 bedrooms came to market in the Spring, pushing median prices down). The median price increased by $54 on average between February and May, creating an average annual cost increase of $648 a year for renters who rent in May versus in February.
(2) Time to Close:
The next factor we analyzed is the common feeling that the market “speeds up” during the Spring and renters need to move more quickly on their searches. This norm of the NYC market can cause stress, but is it justified in data?
To answer this question we analyzed the median time between when renters sign up on TripleMint’s website and when they close on their apartments in February versus May. The data we found tells a compelling story. From February to March the median days from signup to closed rental dropped by 27% from 48 to 35 days. When we compared February to May the data was even more telling, with the time to find an apartment almost cut in half, dropping from 48 to just 25 days.
2016 Time to Close Data:
From February to March the median days from signup to deal closed decreased by 27% (48 – 35)
From February to May the median days from signup to deal closed decreased by 47% (48 – 25)
(3) Search Traffic:
To help explain the time to close speeding up so much and the median price increasing from February to May we looked at search traffic to see if it increased. A more competitive market would explain the changing numbers above. We analyzed the change in unique users on Triplemint.com between February and May and found that there were 87% more people searching in May versus February.
In summary, the rental market does in fact “heat up” in the Spring. Median rents increase, the time people have to find an apartment decreases and search traffic and competition increases from February to May.