Mixed Results for the Apartment Market in This Week’s Top News

  in   COVID-19

It was a mixed bag for the U.S. apartment industry in July. In some signs of relief, the latest jobs numbers are showing improvement, though a recovery is still a long way off. Lease signings were up, suggesting that apartment demand could be recovering. But rent collections continue to fall below year-ago rates in the third week of July as operators turn to rent cuts across the U.S.

Catch up on this week’s news in the multifamily industry here.

Rent Payments Lag Through July 20

Apartment rent payments have held up in the early part of the pandemic, but it appears renters are struggling a bit more in July. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, 91.3% of households paid rent by July 20, falling 2.1% below the year-ago level. This comes after June collections essentially match 2019’s counterpart.

Most Markets See Higher Lease Signings

Lease signings rebounded in June after falling off a cliff in mid-March. In 34 of the nation’s 50 largest apartment markets, lease signings were up in June 2020 compared to June 2019.

After a Decade of Growth, Operators Turn to Rent Cuts

As demand softened in 2nd quarter, apartment operators responded by lowering asking rents. The price tag on an apartment in the U.S. came down 1.0% in 2nd quarter, leaving rents 0.2% below the year-ago level. This softening of rents is the first time in nearly 10 years that operators have resorted to cuts.

Jobs Cuts Lose a Bit of Momentum in June

After the nation’s 150 largest apartment markets suffered massive job cuts in May, the employment hole was quiet as deep in June. Though virtually all those markets were still down in June, annual job losses were seen at a lower rate than in May.

For further reading on this week in industry news, check out these articles.

Economic Recovery Is Under Way but Fighting Flare-Ups Is Key from The Wall Street Journal
Rise in Weekly Unemployment Claims Points to Faltering Jobs Recovery from The Wall Street Journal
Here’s How Congress Might Replace the Extra $600 Weekly Jobless Benefit from The New York Times
Construction Delays Continue for Multifamily Developers from Multi-Housing News
New York, L.A. Nightlife Lockdowns Sending Renters to Suburbs from Bloomberg
US Property Price Growth Decelerates Further in June from Real Capital Analytics
HUD Announces New Voucher Demonstration, Seeks to Expand Private Landlord Participation from National Multifamily Housing Council