A recent rent-payments survey shows that 32 percent of renters failed to make their full July housing payments on time as new cases of COVID-19 surge and reopening plans have been paused or rolled back throughout the country, according to Apartment List.
“This is the highest non-payment of rent since we began running this survey in April,” Apartment List said in the survey results. “Fears around evictions and foreclosures have also worsened, and more Americans today are considering a move as a result of the pandemic.”
Key findings in the rent payments survey
- 19 percent of respondents have not yet made a housing payment for July, and an additional 13 percent have made only a partial payment. Missed payments remain common for renters and homeowners alike.
- 21 percent of renters say they are “very” or “extremely” concerned about facing eviction in the next six months, up from 18 percent in June. Meanwhile, 17 percent of homeowners expressed serious concern about foreclosure, up from 14 percent last month.
- More than half of respondents have had their moving plans affected by the pandemic. About 33 percent say that they are now less likely to move during the remainder of 2020, driven primarily by health concerns, while 21 percent say that they are now more likely to move, driven primarily by the need to find more affordable housing.
Renters in large multifamily buildings have less trouble paying rent
In July, here is what Apartment List found in terms of which renters were missing payments:
- 38 percent of renters in single-family homes had the most difficulty affording their housing, with 21 percent making no payment and 17 percent made a partial payment.
- 33 percent of residents of small-to-medium-sized multifamily buildings with fewer than 50 units missed payments.
- 28 percent of those in large multifamily buildings containing 50 or more units missed payments.
Coronavirus is Having a Greater Impact on Moving Plans
According to last month’s Apartment List survey, the financial fallout from the pandemic is simultaneously encouraging and discouraging people thinking about moving.
“Loss of income has left some households with no choice but to move to a more-affordable home. For others, the costs associated with moving now seem overly burdensome, leading them to stay put. We also find that the virus itself is continuing to have a major impact on moving plans, with many reporting they are less likely to move because they do not believe it is safe to do so.
“Meanwhile, the opportunity to work remotely is inspiring some to consider locations that, prior to the pandemic, were not feasible because of work constraints.
“This month’s survey shows that the pandemic’s impact on migration is deepening in both directions. The share of Americans who say that they are more likely to move this year due to the pandemic increased from 17 to 21 percent, while the share who say that they are less likely to move increased from 30 to 33 percent.
“Health risks continue to be the biggest factor discouraging moves, and the percentage who cite safety concerns rose from 37 percent to 44 percent. As for those considering a move, the opportunity to work from home is becoming more of a driver, as 23 percent say it’s playing a role in their decision, up from 19 percent last month.”
Economic reopenings swept the nation in June and provided some unemployment relief, but did little to ease the rent payments crisis. Despite some Americans getting back to work in June, the rate of missed housing payments actually increased. Looking ahead to July, the majority of states have either paused or are reversing their scheduled re-openings. If local displacement bans are allowed to expire before local economies begin to recover, the missed payments we have been tracking over the past four months could lead to a wave of downgrade moves as renters and homeowners seek more affordable housing. We are already witnessing unprecedented declines in rent prices as demand for expensive housing wanes.