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Apartment Rent Payments at 80.4% in Early March

Apartment Rent Payments at 80.4% in Early March

The National Multifamily Housing Council reports that 80.4% of households living in the country’s stock of professionally managed market-rate apartment properties have paid rent for March as of the 6th.

The latest results are off by 4.1 percentage points from the 84.5% share of households making payments through March 6, 2020.

These findings come from the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Rent Payment Tracker research, compiling information provided by five technology firms, including RealPage, Inc., for more than 11 million market-rate apartment units.

The 80.4% initial-week-of-the-month payment rate is a little higher than the norm seen over the past few months. However, since collections got off to a good start in March 2020, the size of the year-over-year decline in payment results is comparatively substantial.

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 March through the 6th at 84.4% in the Class A block of product and 84.2% in the Class B inventory.

Collection levels are lower at 71.9% in Class C projects. It’s normal for payment activity in Class C communities to trail by an especially big margin in the initial week of a month. Many renters in these less-expensive apartments pay their bills by check, rather than electronic payment, and there can be delays in processing check payments.

Payment Results Are Off Meaningfully in Many Locations

Over recent months, there have been few clear takeaways from initial payments by metro. Markets where collections have started slowly sometimes have ended up with little to no payment deterioration by the end of the month, and the opposite has occurred as well.

For now, then, places where early March collections trail results from a year ago simply are spots to watch as the month continues.

The biggest collections shortfalls relative to early March 2020 levels register at roughly 9 to 15 percentage points, with these results seen in New Orleans (-15.2 points), Baltimore (-13.7 points), Portland (-10.7 points), Seattle (-10.5 points), Los Angeles (-9.6 points) and Newark-Jersey City (-9.2 points).

Annual payment declines are at approximately 7 to 8 percentage points in San Jose (-8.3 points), Milwaukee (-8.1 points), San Francisco (-7.8 points), Washington, DC (-7.3 points), Riverside-San Bernardino (-7.2 points), San Diego and Las Vegas (each at -7 points).

Other markets with payment levels off at least 5 percentage points year-over-year include Anaheim (-6.8 points), Sacramento (-6.5 points), Chicago (-6.3 points), Oakland (-6.2 points), Cincinnati (-6.1 points), Boston (-5.7 points) and Nashville (-5.5 points).

There’s no year-over-year deterioration in payments in a couple of locations: Providence and Fort Lauderdale. All the rest of Florida’s bigger metropolitan areas also are outperforming the country as a whole when it comes to annual change in collections.