U.S. multifamily rent collections in November continued to be strong despite a resurgence of COVID-19 cases around the country and the continued absence of a second stimulus aid package.
The National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC) monthly rent collections survey of 11.5 million households indicated that 93.6% fully or partially paid their rents in November. That result was 1.2 percentage points below the 94.8% recorded in October, and only 1.6 percentage points lower than collections in November 2019.
The strong November rent collections data comes despite a month when daily new COVID-19 cases drastically accelerated and reached as high as 193,734 confirmed cases on Nov. 14, according to the World Health Organization’s tracker. In response to the resurgence, various states and cities began reinstating lockdowns and restrictions on social gatherings and businesses as they had done earlier in the year.
NMHC President Doug Bibby attributed the November rent collections outcome to the “innovative approaches” by property owners and managers to help renters stay current with payments and the government support residents received in the summer.
That support, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed into law in March, gave households stimulus checks and extra unemployment benefits, which helped residents meet financial obligations, such as rent. The law also provided the Small Business Administration with funds for its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which gave businesses forgivable loans to keep workers on payroll.
Although new stimulus bills were proposed by both chambers of Congress for months prior to the presidential election, nothing concrete was agreed upon. With the Joe Biden administration set to take over the White House next month, Congress has restarted negotiations for a second round of stimulus aid. NMHC’s list of priorities for the next relief package includes an emergency rental assistance program, the alignment of mortgage forbearance and eviction protections, an expansion of PPP to include funds for all multifamily real estate businesses, and tax relief for multifamily property owners.
While it’s too early to know what will exactly be included in the next round of stimulus aid, November’s rent collections once again show the resiliency of the multifamily market.