Photo: Robert Clark

To renew, or not to renew — that is the question that plagues renters everywhere. But New York City renters who renew their leases can potentially save thousands on average annually compared to renters who choose to move, according to a new report by the listing site Zillow.

Zillow estimated the savings by analyzing 2015 rent data from the US Census American Community Survey — the most recent data available.

It found that while average rents have increased nationwide, market rate rents (or those advertised for new tenants only) have increased even more.

On average, market rate rents rose 5.6 percent annually, but renewal rents rose just 3.6 percent from 2014 to 2015. Renters who stay put could save an average of about $330 per month.

Renters who moved paid an average of almost $4,000 more in 2015 in rent than those who renewed their leases and stayed put for the past five or more years, says Zillow.

In NYC, the annual savings nearly doubled to $7,376, with renters saving an average of just over $600 per month by renewing their leases instead of moving and starting fresh.

Rental affordability is a growing concern, not just in NYC but nationwide. While rents have risen, or even skyrocketed in some hot markets, wages have not matched the pace of rental price growth.

“With the country in the middle of an affordability crisis, it’s important for renters to understand how much they can save if they renew their lease instead of finding a new rental,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s Chief Economist.

But not all renters should expect to see the same kind of savings from renewing instead of moving.

“Nationally, rental rates have slowed and the savings from renewing are not as significant for renters today. However, in some of the hottest rental markets, where rents are still rising aggressively, continually renewing a lease can mean saving thousands of dollars,” explains Gudell.

Click here to read the entire report.

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