NMHC Rent Tracker: 87.7% of Renter Households Paid Rent by May 13

The National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC’s) Rent Payment Tracker has found that 87.7% of apartment households had made a full or partial rent payment by May 13. The tracker collects payment data from 11.4 million market rate housing units across the country, in partnership with Entrata, RealPage, Yardi, ResMan, and MRI Software.

This number marks a 2.1 percentage point drop in the share of paid households from the same 13-day period in May 2019, and stands two percentage points above April 1-13, 2020, when 85% of apartment households had made a rent payment for April.

In a webinar conversation with the NMHC, representatives from the Rent Payment Tracker’s data partners noted a “surprisingly strong payment performance,” owing to a prioritization of rent payment among most renters. Class C apartments are lagging in collections, but not far behind Class A and B. New York, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles remain “trouble spots,” while Texas and the Carolinas hold strong for collections.

With job losses ongoing, the experts note that availability in Class A is on the rise, while applications are down. They predict that this may lead to price decreases or concessions for new renters, while many existing Class A renters may shift to Class B product.

“Once again, despite the economic and health challenges facing so many, we have found that apartment residents who live in professionally managed properties are meeting their obligations,” Doug Bibby, NMHC president, says in the weekly data release. “But it’s important to understand that our metric does not capture rent payments for smaller landlords or for affordable and subsidized properties. These excluded properties are the ones more likely to house residents experiencing financial stress. In addition, as current federal support programs begin to reach their limit, it will be even more critical for Congress to enact a meaningful renter assistance program. It’s the only way to avoid adding a housing crisis to our health and economic crisis.”

While the NMHC Rent Payment Tracker is designed to provide an insight into changes in renter behavior and track a potential recovery, the NMHC notes that factors such as days of the week the data are collected, the status of leasing offices, and differing rent payment policies may make comparisons with historical data “imprecise.” The next data release will be available May 22.

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