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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

NMHC: Rent Payment Tracker Finds Rent Payment Rate at 93 Percent of Prior Month

by Calculated Risk on 4/15/2020 11:25:00 AM

From the NMHC: Rent Payment Tracker Finds Rent Payment Rate at 93 Percent of Prior Month

The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) found that 84 percent of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by April 12 in its second survey of 11.5 million units of professionally managed apartment units across the country, up 15 percentage points from April 5.

NMHC’s Rent Payment Tracker numbers also examined historical numbers and found that 90 percent of renters made full or partial payments from April 1-12, 2019, and 91 percent of renters in March 1-12, 2020. The latest tracker numbers reflect a payment rate of 93 percent compared to the same time last month. These data encompass a wide variety of market-rate rental properties, which can vary by size, type and average rental price.

“We are pleased to see that it appears that the vast majority of apartment residents who can pay their rent are doing so to help ensure that their properties can continue to operate safely and so apartment owners can help residents who legitimately need help,” said Doug Bibby, President of NMHC. “Unfortunately, unemployment levels are continuing to rise and delays have been reported in getting assistance to residents, which could affect May’s rent levels. It is our hope that, as residents begin receiving the direct payments and the enhanced unemployment benefits the federal government passed, we will continue to see improvements in rent payments.”

"History offers us no frame of reference for the truly unprecedented economic situation we find ourselves in,” said Bibby. "With apartment firms stepping up to support their residents by waiving late fees, creating flexible payment plans and offering other creative solutions for residents impacted by COVID-19, we expected more renters to pay later in the month than has historically been the case. The increase in this week’s number over last week’s, however, shows that apartment residents are continuing to pay rent despite the financial challenges facing them.”
emphasis added
CR Note: I've noted before that a key goal of disaster relief is to fill the economic hole caused by the disaster.   There has been a sudden stop in economic activity, however the financial world continues.  Some people are advocating suspending paying bills, such as rents, mortgages, insurance, credit card, bond payments, and other bills during the crisis.  This is a terrible idea. We don’t want to add a financial crisis, on top of an economic crisis, on top of a healthcare crisis. If we have a financial crisis too, it will be much hard to eventually reopen the economy.   So it is good news that most people are still paying their rents (and many more will probably catch up once they receive Federal benefits).  The Federal government needs to keep filling the economic hole.