As the additional $600 a week unemployment benefits expired, more residents struggle to pay their rents, with 76 percent making rent payments as of September 6, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council. However, since the latest figures were pulled from more than 11 million rental units, they do not reflect a large swath of the multifamily market that has been hit the hardest by COVID-19. Additionally, multifamily trade groups and advocates are worried about the cascading effects of falling rent payments.
President Trump announced a nationwide eviction moratorium that will expire at the end of the year, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly enacting the emergency order, citing the risk to public health. Yardi Matrix’s Paul Fiorilla argued that, while the ban ended fears of an immediate wave of evictions, it only postpones an inevitable problem if current unemployment rates persist and federal aid remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.
Student and senior housing are the two most affected property types within the multifamily market, with the two sectors witnessing rising vacancies and falling rents in the second quarter, according to Moody’s Analytics. Preferred Apartment Communities has exited the student housing sector by selling an eight-property portfolio to TPG Real Estate Partners. To understand the changes brought about by the pandemic to student housing investment, we reached out to industry experts to discuss the new models favored by the commercial sector. As for senior housing, the pandemic has forced a number of design changes that seem here to stay. In addition, we talked with Brookdale Senior Living’s Lucinda Baier about how the company adapted to the novel challenges of the virus. And, at a conference held by Argentum, executives at three real estate investment trusts discussed pandemic responses and partnership options.
Here are MHN’s must-reads for last month: