Rent-at-Risk Rises Heading into July

Census data indicates that, compared to two weeks prior, an increasing number of Americans believed they will not pay July rent.

An increasing proportion of tenants are concerned about their ability to pay rent, according to the latest US Census Bureau weekly update. 

As of June 23, the Census survey indicates over 35% of respondents won’t make July rent payments. That rent-at-risk amount is up from 30% on June 9.

More than half of tenants in three states indicated that they will not be able to pay July’s rent: Vermont, Mississippi, and Maryland. Nine states had 10% more respondents indicating July rent is at risk than did two weeks earlier. Five states saw rent-at-risk improvements of more than 10%:

  1. West Virginia
  2. South Dakota
  3. Delaware
  4. South Carolina
  5. North Dakota

There is no discernible pattern connecting states’ opening dates with rent-at-risk

Among the 15 largest US metro areas, three saw significant increases in rent-at-risk: Detroit, Houston, and San Francisco. More than 50% of New York City respondents didn’t expect to be able to pay July rent. Atlanta and Riverside, CA were the only metro areas with improved rent-at-risk scores.

The Census Bureau survey, with more than 100,000 responses nationwide, is a unique leading indicator of ability to pay rent. The June 23 survey concluded a week into the renewed increases in COVID-19 infections nationwide. The uptick subsequently steepened into month’s end.

GeoPhy incorporates this US Census Bureau data in Evra – our platform for assessing value and value drivers for commercial real estate properties and locations. Going forward, we’ll continue tracking the impact of COVID-19 on multifamily rents. Sign up for a trial of Evra to try it for yourself.

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