This week, the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Rent Payment Tracker shows that 77.4% of professionally managed market-rate apartment households had made a full or partial rent payment by July 6. This marks a 2.3 percentage point decrease from the share who paid rent through July 6, 2019, and compares with the 80.8% share that had paid their June 2020 rent by June 6.
“It is clear that state and federal unemployment assistance benefits have served as a lifeline for renters, making it possible for them to pay their rent,” says NMHC president Doug Bibby. “Unfortunately, there is a looming July 31 deadline when that aid ends. Without an extension or a direct renter assistance program, that NMHC has been calling for since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. could be headed toward historic dislocations of renters and business failures among apartment firms, exacerbating both unemployment and homelessness.”
In this week’s NMHC Rent Payment Tracker webinar, both Elizabeth Francisco, president of ResMan, and Chase Harrington, chief operating officer at Entrata, noted that July’s lower rent collections could be attributed to the holiday weekend, in line with payment patterns from previous years. Harrington noted a “surge” of rent payments following the July 6 cutoff for this week’s data. However, the pending end of expanded unemployment benefits remains a concern for the near future.
Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix, notes that missed mortgage payments on multifamily properties are on the rise. While professionally managed buildings are overall doing well on their mortgages, smaller properties that may have taken on more risk are seeing problems, and that Freddie Mac’s small-balance loan forbearance rate is rising relative to its larger loans.
At the same time, many jurisdictions are nearing the ends of their original eviction moratoriums. While some have extended their deadlines, others are allowing them to expire, raising fears of a potential eviction crisis.
According to a study from Apartment List, Americans are more concerned about evictions and foreclosures this month than they were in June, even with extended protections. The share of renters who were either “very” or “extremely” concerned about being evicted rose from 18% in June to over 21% in July, while the share of homeowners worried about foreclosure rose from 14% to 17%.
Across all housing types, 32% of Americans did not make a full, on-time housing payment in July; 19% made no payment at all, while 13% only made a partial payment. Broken out by housing type, 30% of homeowners failed to make a full on-time payment, compared with 36% of renters.