U.S. apartment rent collections as of late January continue to run moderately behind year-ago levels, according to the latest statistics from RealPage, Inc. Nationally, the share of households paying January’s rent through the 27th is off by 2.1 percentage points from year-earlier results.
However, in some good news, there are signs of stabilization in the month-to-month data comparisons. January’s payment level matches results from December, whereas the collections ratio had edged down from one month to the next in October, November and December.
Note that this information is limited to performances of professionally managed properties using RealPage’s property management software. The National Multifamily Housing Council is not publishing data from the organization’s Rent Payment Tracker research this week. That Rent Payment Tracker research covers a larger set of properties, relying on info from not just RealPage but also another four property management software providers.
Previous Patterns Hold in Property Class Payments
As has been seen since the COVID-19 pandemic began, rent collections remain better in the upper-end and mid-range apartments than in the lower-tier properties. RealPage stats show payments for January through the 27th at 93.2% in the Class A block of product and 93.1% in the Class B inventory.
Collection levels are lower at 87.1% in Class C projects. Renters in the Class C stock generally live paycheck to paycheck, lacking resources to rely on when employment is interrupted.
Payments by Metro Mostly Match Earlier Patterns
The list of metros where payments lag year-ago levels the most looks largely the same as it has throughout recent months.
January collections are off year-ago payments by 5 to 7 percentage points in Portland, Seattle, New Orleans and San Jose. Additional spots where the annual decline in collections is at least 4 percentage points are Las Vegas, Charlotte and Los Angeles.
If you’re a regular follower of the metro-level payments data, you may notice that New York is not in its typical position among the weakest performers. RealPage stats show that 94.5% of households living in New York’s professionally managed stock paid their January rent. That figure is only off by 1.3 percentage points from the year-earlier level, a performance actually better than the U.S. norm.