Yes, it's a bad time of the year for rent. In the past, I had folks looking around Xmas and needing it quickly. Turns out it's usually tenants being evicted. So we're doubly careful with people looking around Xmas.
Once I felt bad for a tenant needing a roommate to replace one who left after they had a big fight. By Xmas, he was two months behind. He called a roommate matching service he used and he was told to call back in a few weeks because no one was looking at this time of year.
Once I had a tenant leaving the end of November. Talked him into staying through to January because I didn't want a vacant house in December and spending time getting a rental cleaned and ready with no one coming.
Yes just think about who would be moving or looking for a place during this time. Keep the price where it is if it’s competitive and I think during the new year it will pick up.
I would not give up hope but I would financially & emotionally plan on it being empty for an extra month.
On the west coast you are not fighting against weather, just against busy-ness and distraction of the holidays.
But I would argue that many people want to look when they have more down time the week between Christmas and New Years, if your PM is working. It does take more application scrubbing when people are moving at odd times, but it could be related to a new job, death or divorce, wanting change, etc.
Some savvy people also move in Dec/Jan because rents are usually lower around that time to get units filled. When I moved to Chicago I did so in December and got a good rate. The next year, however, I got a 6 month lease with an increase and then a one year with another increase to move my renewal to June.
I just gave my 3rd floor tenant a 6 month to take her to June because I want possession in June.
Just a follow-up... a day or two after Christmas I had a good, qualified tenant who wanted to move in at my asking price ASAP. :) Best of luck to all of us in 2018!
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