Out of 11.4 million professionally managed apartment households across the country, 92.2% had made a full or partial rent payment by June 20, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s latest Rent Payment Tracker data.
This number matches the share of households who had paid their June rent through June 20, 2019, and compares with the 90.8% of households that had paid their May rent by May 20, 2020.
“With the support of expanded unemployment benefits, stimulus funds, and significant efforts by apartment community owners and operators to help residents impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 and resulting financial hardships, it seem most renters were once again able to meet their obligations,” says NMHC president Doug Bibby. “The early steps taken by lawmakers have proven critical to keeping many safely and securely housed. As we move forward and the economy begins to recover, it will be vitally important that lawmakers continue to support the nation’s renters and forestall even greater economic harm.”
Renewal rates and demand fundamentals were among the top concerns addressed by representatives of NMHC’s data partners in this week’s NMHC Rent Payment Tracker Update webinar. Elizabeth Francisco, president of ResMan, notes that while vacancies are trending toward normal levels, renewal rates have fallen far below usual. However, other members of the panel have observed a recent rise in leasing interest, coupled with a rise in concessions and a move to virtual tools.
Las Vegas and the state of California are among the weakest groups on the payment side, notes Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage. By comparison, the Midwest and other West Coast markets have remained relatively stable, while large “gateway” markets have seen steep rent cuts.
Market uncertainties include the aftereffects of the virus on commuting and public transportation habits, local jurisdictions grappling with a spike in cases, and the fate of student housing if campuses do not reopen. Harrington, chief operating officer at Entrata, notes that while the uncollected rent rate for student housing was high at the end of May—5% as opposed to 2%—pre-lease numbers are still high overall for students.
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