Richmond Times-Dispatch

Landlords scramble to court renters

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Renters searching for an apartment deal won’t have to look far.

More than 34% of apartments nationwide are offering some kind of freebie to attract tenants, according to a new report from Zillow.

Apartment rental concession­s across the country have zoomed higher in the last year as landlords have scrambled to sign new tenants during the pandemic. The giveaways usually involved periods of free rent, gift cards or other enticement­s.

In the Richmond region, 34% of apartment properties are offering concession­s, according to the report. Area rental incentives have soared from 22% in October

2019 and from 15% in January.

The increase in apartment freebies has caught the attention of young renters who are moving away from home or into larger apartments to take advantage of the bargain offers.

“The effective savings rate is what renters would save on their typical housing costs over the course of their lease because of both lower rent prices and concession­s,” Zillow economist Joshua Clark said in the report. “Those savings could be enough to cover the cost difference between a one- bedroom and a two- bedroom unit.”

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