UPDATE 4/30: rent payments rise 8% to 91.5% during April (new details at end of article)
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 4/21
Disturbing information is developing regarding fake rent payment delinquencies of renters. Main stream media is widely reporting that one-third of renters could not pay rent for the month of April 2020. This fake news is being propagated by CNN, Wall Street Journal and Newsweek and others. Although all the news organizations provide the name of the source, they misrepresent the information and outright lie about the numbers. All three news networks quote the source of the data as the National Multifamily Housing Council. However, they do not show the complete picture. The NMHC has a Rent Tracker webpage which explores the latest rent payment data across the United States from its survey of survey of 11.5 million units. According to the report, 84 percent of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by April 12 in its second survey of 11.5 million units of professionally managed apartment units across the country, up 15 percentage points from April 5. In fact, when compared to last year, the percentage of rent payments made for the month of April only has a 6% difference.
SOURCE: National Multifamily Housing Council
Below are the headlines from the major news networks...
CNN is even purposely changing its search engine titles so that viewers will read the shocker headline within search results but when the link is actually opened, the title of the article is different than the headline.
NMHC UPDATE 4/23: Rent Payment Rate Rises to 95% of Previous Month. The share of residents who have paid full or partial rent has risen by 5 percentage points from last week. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s third weekly Rent Payment Tracker report, 89% of market-rate multifamily households had made either a full or partial April rent payment by April 19, up 5 percentage points from April 12. The April data reflects a 95% rent payment rate compared with March’s rate over the same 19-day period. Based on historic data, 93% of multifamily households had made their payments by March 19, 2020, and 93% had made their April 2019 payments by the 19th of that month.
Note that a 5% vacancy rate is a normal textbook guideline. Therefore, a variance of 4% is insignificant by any statistical measure.
SOURCE: Multifamily Executive
Based on the rent payment information from most of the US renter population (11.5 million units), it seems likely that the slight 3% disruption in April rent payment (from 94.6% to 91.5%) was due to consumers adjusting to new rent payment methods (online payment from mail-in payment) and lifestyle changes resulting from lockdown orders BUT NOT economic distress.