Multi-family housing fundamentals continue to show signs of distress following the widespread job creation and economic losses caused by the coronavirus.
The latest report from the National Multifamily Housing Council's Rent Payment Tracker, which measures the number of apartment households making a full or partial rent payment, shows a 2.4% decrease – or 279,457 households – year over year, as well as a monthly decrease. According to NMHC Tracker, 86.2% of home households made full or partial rental payments by September 13, compared with 86.9% by August 13 this year. The survey measures 11.4 million units of professionally managed housing units across the country.
“While it remains clear that many apartment dwellers continue to prioritize their housing obligations and that apartment owners and operators remain determined to meet them halfway with creative and nuanced approaches, the reality shows that the rent payment numbers are in the second September week steadily deteriorating – representation of hundreds of thousands of households that are increasingly at risk, "said Doug Bibby, president of the NMHC, in prepared comments.
Other research shows small but growing issues with the multi-family asset class. The effective rents in the second quarter went down according to a Report from Moody & # 39; s Analytic RICE subsidiary– –The first decline since the multi-family sector began recovering from recession in 2008-09. REIS says 41 of 82 major housing markets saw real rents decline, compared with just seven of those markets in Q1 2020 and zero a year ago.
Debt markets are also showing signs of stress another REIS report found.
"When we reviewed remittances in August, we found some conflicting data, in addition to a multi-family sector showing its early signs of pandemic stress," the two researchers wrote. "While the overall crime rate is fairly stable and even showing signs of declining, the volume of special maintenance remains stubbornly high and is increasing by the centimeter."
"In certain data truncations, we are even seeing industry-specific conflicts over where stress is hiding and likely to occur in the near future," the authors said.
A new report from Rentec Direct assessing the impact of COVID-19 on rental payments this month also gives cause for concern. “Rentec Direct data has shown a consistent downward trend in the number of rental payments received from property managers and landlords across the country. In September, the number of total rental payments received changed the most, by 35%. We started tracking data in March 2020. "
But Rentec gave advice to the owners. "For tenants who pay rent electronically, nationwide rent payments in September 2020 are 1.0% higher than online payments in March 2020. Online rental payment options increase the likelihood of paying rent dramatically."