An increasing number of landlords are offering concessions in order to bolster the suffering rental market. Zillow reports 33.9% of the site’s rental listings mentioned some sort of rental concession in October, an increase from 20.2% in March. Common concessions include free parking, reduced fees, and/or free months of rent. The most popular form of concession is free rent. And nearly half, 49%, of Gen Z renters who moved recently reported moving due to promotions and concessions. Zillow says the number of landlords offering concessions aligns with the slowdown of annual rent growth resulting from the pandemic.
But that swift spike stabilized at about a third of all rental listings in recent months, rising more slowly to 33.5% in September and 33.9% in October. Concessions were offered more than half the time in October in three of the 50 largest markets analyzed — Washington, D.C. (62.4%), Charlotte (53.6%) and San Jose (52.1%). Large markets with the lowest share of listings offering concessions in October included Oklahoma City (12.5%), New York (12.6%) and Buffalo (13.1%).
The rental market has suffered badly in the face of the coronavirus, even as the for-sale market has remained red hot, with renters bearing the brunt of ongoing economic disruptions and many reconsidering their housing options in light of telecommuting flexibility and/or a need for more space.