This Week in Multifamily News: Clearer Picture of Market-Level Impact

  in   COVID-19

The longer the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the more data points emerge that allow U.S. apartment operators to make sense of the newest challenges. The April data release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows some markets are seeing more job loss than others, and RealPage numbers show a correlation between the markets with fewer jobs lost and those with the highest rent collection.

Looking forward, June could be a key hurdle. As June rent week nears, nearly one-in-three U.S. renters say they have little to no confidence they’ll be able to pay rent, according to a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Catch up on this week in multifamily news here.

Market-Level Performance Mirrors Job Loss, Virus Hot Spots

By May 27, over 93% of U.S. renters had paid rent, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. Dallas, Phoenix, Austin and Denver reported the least amount of damaging job loss, and those markets have above-average May rent collections. In places where the virus is spreading rapidly, like Baltimore and New Orleans, and those with a tourism-dependent economy, like Las Vegas, collections are lower than average.

One-Third of Renters Expect Challenges in Paying June Rent

According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, American renters who feel they are most likely to have trouble paying June rent were members of a household that had experienced job loss and those with a household income of less than $25,000 annually. Industry experts absorbed these numbers in an NMHC webcast last week, and many shared anxieties about the possible sunsetting of extended unemployment benefits in July.

Major University System Goes Online, but Only for Fall

As the 23-campus California State University System announced it would conduct its Fall 2020 semester mostly online, its pre-leasing numbers had already started lagging year-ago rates. Whether this university system will be a bellwether or exception for the student housing industry remains to be seen, but operators cite confidence that demand won’t dip for an entire year, if it dips at all.

Webcast: June Rent Week Stats

RealPage economists Greg Willett and Jay Parsons outline the key takeaways from June rent week, which many industry experts expect to be a make-or-break month. Register for the June 9 webcast here.

For further reading on COVID-19 and the multifamily industry, check out these articles.

Shrinking Buyer Pool May Accelerate Price Floor Discovery from Real Capital Analytics
Landlords Were Never Meant to Get Bailout Funding. Many Got It Anyway from The Wall Street Journal
Housing Could Help Lead the Post-COVID Economic Recovery from Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
Pace of Cross-Border Investment into US Slackens from Real Capital Analytics
Easing Unemployment Claims Show Slower Pace of Coronavirus-Related Layoffs from The Wall Street Journal
Developers Report Continued Construction Delays from Multi-Housing News