How many Boston rentals move in on September 1st?

Most of Boston’s rental homes and apartments have leases that begin on September 1st. At my firm, 74% of all rentals in the past 5 years have had a September 1st start date. This is based on a diverse sample of nearly 5000 rental transactions that occurred from 2010 to 2014. Here is more about the source and methodology behind this data.

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Good statistics on this phenomenon are surprisingly hard to find. The best comparisons that I could find are a few years old: Broker Ethan Goodrich reported in 2011 that 80% of his listings are for September 1st. Listing database company RentJuice published a report in 2011 stating that 79% of their listings had move-in dates between September 1st – 14th (RentJuice was later taken over by Zillow, and they have not published any data on move in dates since then).

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This percent of leases that begin on September 1st has stayed almost constant over the past 5 years, indicating that the average length of all leases, new and renewing, is 12 months. If the average length was not 12 months the percentage of September 1st move-ins would change year-over-year.


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