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Report: Philly renters save thousands by renewing instead of moving

Close to $4,000 to be exact

A glassy apartment building with balconies.
Should Philly renters renew or move?
Courtesy of Shutterstock

Each year, renters have to consider this question: Should I resign my lease or move? In Philly, where monthly mortgages are typically less than monthly rents, the question is even more complicated: Should I resign my lease or buy a house?

But a new report may make it a little easier for perpetual renters to answer either question.

A new Zillow report has found that renters in Philly and the surrounding metro save $316 a month by renewing a lease instead of moving to a new apartment. The annual savings after renting the same spot for five years sounds even sweeter: $3,791.

Ideally, that chunk of change could be saved for a future downpayment.

The numbers, based on the latest 2015 rent data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey, provide some solace for renters who may be considering scratching the itch for some type of change each year. “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,” said Zillow chief economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

The report does note that the savings are much higher in other major metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Boston, where renters save nearly $9,000 renewing over the course of five years. That’s because rents are rising much more aggressively in those cities compared to Philadelphia. For example, the market rate rent increase in Boston in 2015 was 10.5 percent. In Philly, it was 4 percent.

The interactive chart below shows how much Philly renters save over the course of five years. Even renting a place for two years has its benefits.