Multifamily Rental Payments Show Slight Decrease in July

The number of households that made a rent payment decreased 2.3 percent since last year. According to The National Multifamily Housing Council’s rent payment tracker, 77.4 percent of households who live in apartments paid partial or full rent by July 6.

The dip since last summer was also a decrease from 80.8 percent of households who paid for their apartment rentals in full or partial payments in June. The survey tracked 11.4 million apartments in the United States.

The multifamily apartment rental sector had shown a decrease since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home orders in March. Rental prices for apartments slowed further in May, especially in expensive, urban markets such as San Francisco. But the NMHC also found little difference between the number of households who made rent payment in June versus the same time last year.

The NMHC’s president, Doug Bibby, credits the relatively low dip to state and federal unemployment assistance benefits. Bibby expressed concern at renters’ abilities to pay once the unemployment assistance runs out at the end of July.

“Without an extension or a direct renter assistance program, that NMHC has been calling for since the start of the pandemic, the US could be headed toward historic dislocations of renters and business failures among apartment firms,” Bibby said.

Despite the multifamily sector only exhibiting a slight decrease in rent payment defaults and rental prices, experts believe the number of late rent payments will increase as the pandemic drags on. Single family homes will be expected to fare better in the next few years.

However, other rent payment trackers showed a more dire outlook. Unlike the NMHC, Apartment List’s rent payment tracker reported that 30 percent of tenants were unable to pay rent in June. Apartment List’s Rob Warnock said their data included mom-and-pop landlords as well, which results in very different numbers.

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