A common theme in the media for December was that we lived through a horrible year in 2020 and that 2021 would be better for us all. Perhaps this sentiment will hold by year-end but the start has been chaotic. Conditions might become more distressing for commercial real estate investors throughout the year, a turn of events that some players are hoping to see.
Foreclosure filings— default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 214,323 U.S. properties in 2020, down 57 percent from 2019 and down 93 percent from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010, to the lowest level since tracking began in 2005.
The COVID-19 pandemic made housing affordability a persistent concern throughout 2020. And as we enter the new year, rent payments remain a financial obstacle for many families. According to our latest survey, 30 percent of renters did not make their January payment on-time at the start of the year. This is down just slightly from the mid-summer peak when unemployment was at its worst, but up significantly from historic baseline levels.
In October 2020, 6.1% of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure), a small decrease from September 2020, but a 2.4-percentage point increase from October 2019, according to the latest CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights Report.
Applications by prospective tenants for a rental home generally pick-up each spring. The President’s declaration of a national emergency on March 13 triggered Shelter-In-Place restrictions and disrupted the seasonal rise. By the end of March applications for rental homes were down 42% from the same period one year earlier.
The National Multifamily Housing Council reports that 76.6% of households living in the country’s stock of professionally-managed market-rate apartment properties have paid rent for January as of the 6th. The latest results are off by 1.7 percentage points from the 78.3% share of households making payments through January 6, 2020.
According to ATTOM Data Solutions’ newly released 2021 Rental Affordability Report, owning a median-priced three-bedroom home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 63 percent of the U.S. counties analyzed. The annual report noted this trend is occurring despite median home prices increasing more than average rents over the past year in 83 percent of those counties and rising more than wages in almost two-thirds of the nation.
Look for another round of substantial apartment completions across the U.S. in 2021. Scheduled deliveries top 2020’s already big volumes in many metros, including most of the gateway markets where rent achievement has deteriorated so much during recent months.
The U.S. apartment market has ended 2020 with sustained healthy occupancy but very mixed results across metros in terms of rent achievement. December occupancy in the country’s 150 largest metros came in at 95.5%, only a hair under the year-earlier figure of 95.6%. Influencing that performance, product demand stayed solid during 4th quarter, a period when normal seasonality tends to yield minimal product absorption.
National home prices increased 8.2% year over year in November 2020, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) Report. The November 2020 HPI gain was up from the November 2019 gain of 3.7% and was the highest year-over-year gain since March 2014. Home sales for the year are expected to register above 2019 levels. Meanwhile, the availability of for-sale homes has dwindled as demand increased and coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks continued across the country, which delayed some sellers from putting their homes on the market.
Average Wage Below Level Needed To Afford Typical Home in the U.S.; Affordability Worsened in Fourth Quarter in 55 Percent of Housing Markets; Median Home Prices Up At Least 10 Percent in Most of Nation
In what has been a year of upheaval, one area of normalcy for the multifamily industry has been the flow of new units into the market. After some initial delays in the early days of the pandemic, the new construction pipeline ramped back up to deliver about as many units as were delivered in both 2018 and 2019.
U.S. apartment rent collections have slipped moderately from earlier levels, according to the latest statistics from RealPage, Inc. Nationally, the share of households paying December’s rent through the 27th is off by 2.7 percentage points from year-earlier results.
After nearly a year of struggle for the U.S. economy and apartment market during the COVID-19 pandemic, apartment construction activity remains elevated. As of 3rd quarter, more than 591,000 units were under way across the nation.
The National Multifamily Housing Council reports that 89.8% of households living in the country’s stock of professionally managed market-rate apartment properties have paid rent for December as of the 20th. The latest results are off by 3.4 percentage points from the 93.2% share of households making payments through December 20, 2019.
The U.S. national rate of commercial property price growth rose in November at the fastest annual clip since the beginning of the pandemic on the back of continued strong industrial and apartment price gains. The US National All-Property Index increased 5.7% from a year ago, the latest RCA CPPI: US summary report shows. In the retail sector meanwhile, the slump in prices deepened.
Though occupancy held up, U.S. apartment rents continued to decline in November as the divergence in performance widened among individual local markets. In the year-ending November, effective asking rents fell 1.1%, a slight improvement over October’s decline of 1.3%.
10,042 U.S. Properties Received a Foreclosure Filing in November 2020, Down 14 Percent from Last Month; Florida tops out with the highest foreclosure rate, leading the nation in REO filings; Foreclosure Starts Uptick Monthly in Missouri, Indiana and Georgia
After years of steady price increases, 2020 brought the nation’s rental market to a halt. Typically rents rise during the busy summer season, but this year apartments across the country are on average renting for about two percent less than they were pre-pandemic.