This week’s roundup assesses the impacts of COVID-19 on the multifamily market, including what has been happening with single-family rentals (SFRs) and rent collection. First, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reviews how elevated unemployment and weakened wage growth is expected to affect build for rent construction. It projects the SFRBFR market will likely expand in the near future. Next, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) reports even with the COVID-19 crisis, people are prioritizing rent, with 90.8% of apartment households paying rent as of late May. Moody’s Analytics REIS provides a white paper, updating its Q1 2020 commercial and multifamily data. It analyzes the effects of COVID-19 on different property types and geographic markets. Multi-Housing News cites a Rentec Direct report, finding renters paying electronically were more likely to make rent during the coronavirus crisis. Finally, the Arbor’s Chatter blog looks at how interest in build to rent has grown driven by both health and economic concerns resulting from the pandemic.

Gains Expected for Single-Family Built-for-Rent Construction

NAHB – May 21

“The SFBFR market has received attention as a means to add single-family inventory amid concerns over housing affordability and down payment requirements in the for-sale market, particularly during a period involving elevated unemployment and weak wage growth.”

NMHC Finds 90.8 % of Apartment Households Paid Rent as of May 20

NMHC – May 22

“This is a 2.2-percentage point decrease in the share who paid rent through May 20, 2019 and compares to 89.2 percent that had paid by April 20, 2020.”

Multifamily and Commercial Real Estate Performance Metrics

REIS – May 15

“The world has changed significantly since REIS delivered its last quarterly update for multifamily and commercial real estate performance metrics in mid-February. How has our outlook for various property types changed?”

Online Rent Payers More Likely to Pay: Report

Multi-Housing News – May 18

“Among renters paying rent electronically through a bank transfer or credit card, online rent payments received in April declined only 1.5 percent compared to those in March 2020.”

COVID-19 Increases Appeal of Build to Rent

Arbor Chatter – May 21

“With the COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions, more people are considering upgrading their housing.”