This week’s roundup offers insights on multifamily leasing amid COVID-19, apartment retention trends and the small multifamily sector’s performance in the first quarter. First, NREI reports on the innovative ways apartment owners are showing apartments during the current pandemic in order to continue leasing up their units. Next, RealPage notes that tenant retention in April reached a record high, largely due to renters’ inability or reluctance to relocate as a result of COVID-19. Arbor’s Chatter blog highlights the small multifamily sector’s finance and investment benchmarks for the first quarter, noting that the initial impacts of the coronavirus resulted in a slight decline in property prices. Then, NREI explains the tax provisions in the CARES Act that relate to real estate owners and operators, including 1031 Exchanges and Qualified Opportunity Funds. Finally, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies releases a new series on how improved apartment and construction methods could help reduce the cost of building properties and increase affordability for renters.

Multifamily Owners Go Virtual to Get Leases Signed Amid COVID-19

NREI – May 6

“New technologies let apartments shoppers to check out potential homes without ever being in the presence of a leasing agent.”

Apartment Retention Hit Record High in April, But Revenue Growth Hit Nine-Year Low

RealPage – May 7

“Property owners and managers purposely did not capitalize on high renewal demand in April. In fact, renewal rent trade-out – which measures the change in rent for renters renewing leases in the same unit – came in at the lowest level since December 2010.”

Q1 2020 Small Multifamily Investment Trends Report

Arbor Chatter – May 5

“While the impact of COVID-19 contributed to a 0.9% decline in small multifamily prices in the first quarter of 2020, they are still up 5.5% from a year ago.”

An In-Depth Look into the Real Estate-Related Tax Provisions of the CARES Act

NREI – May 6

“Most of the legislation’s provisions relax changes made by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Making Apartments More Affordable Starts with Understanding the Costs of Building Them

Harvard JCHS – May 5

“The public health crisis has highlighted the extent of housing insecurity among millions of US renters—a problem that can only be solved by building more housing at lower costs.”