Fewer apartment households paid the rent by the end of the month since April, though the decrease is only 1.38% year over year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and high unemployment.
The National Multifamily Housing Council’s latest Rent Payment Tracker report includes looks at how many renters paid by the end of the month and by the 6th of each month. The data come from its survey of 11.4 million apartment units in the United States.
For the April through August time period in 2020, an average of 95.16% of multifamily households had paid rent by the end of the month. That compares with 96.54% in 2019, a difference of 1.38%.
When viewing who had paid by the 6th of each month, the averages are farther apart. In 2019 during the same time period, 81.08% had paid by the 6th. In 2020, the average is 78.82%.
One caveat to paid-by-the-6th set of numbers is that Labor Day this year (on Sept. 6) came later than last year (on Sept. 2). That could have influenced how many payments came in by the 6th, NMHC president Doug Bibby said in a press release. In 2019, 81.2% of households had paid rent by Sept. 6, while in 2020 the figure is 76.4%.
“Next week’s Rent Payment Tracker numbers will help indicate the degree to which the drop in payments was a result of the holiday weekend or decreased ability of residents to pay their rent,” Bibby said.
Bibby, whose organization supports the apartment industry, pointed to the numbers as he blasted the nationwide eviction moratorium enacted earlier this month, saying it “only is a stopgap measure that puts the entire housing finance system at jeopardy and saddles apartment residents with untenable levels of debt.”
Instead of a moratorium, Bibby said, the federal government “continue to provide support” like it did in the CARES Act.
Besides the small drop in people paying their rent, multifamily also has seen asking and effective rents fall. They were down 0.4% across the nation in the second quarter, though the number varies by individual market.