NMHC reported that 76.5 percent of renters had made at least a partial rent payment for the month of July by the 6th of the month. The Rent Payment Tracker also found that 95.6 percent of renters had made at least a partial rent payment for June by the end of that month.
What is the Rent Payment Tracker?
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) developed the Rent Payment Tracker program in the wake of the shutdowns imposed when COVID-19 emerged. They arranged to get aggregated payment data from 5 prominent providers of property management software: Entrata, MRI Software, RealPage, ResMan and Yardi. The customers for these systems tend to be larger operators, so the results for the 11.1 million to 11.7 million units covered by the Tracker may not be typical of the 40 million rental housing units in the United States.
The 76.5 percent payment rate by July 6th is one of the poorer performances since the Tracker program began collecting data in April 2019. Only September and December 2020 saw lower rates of payment by the 6th day of the month. It is odd then that the 95.2 percent payment rate for the month of June is actually one of the higher rates that has been seen recently. We have to go back 12 months to July 2020 to see a higher month-end payment rate. The monthly payment results are shown in the chart, below.
The chart plots are based on the monthly payment data for the time period covered by the rent payment tracker. However, rather than plotting the raw data, the chart plots the three-month weighted moving average of the Tracker data. The current monthly data is weighted most heavily while the two previous months are weighted progressively less heavily in computing the result to be plotted. This treatment smooths out the data so that underlying trends can more easily be discerned.
The chart shows that payment performance has progressively become worse as the pandemic has progressed. Recently it appeared that this trend could be reversing with payment performance in May 2021 almost matching that in May 2020. However, the early-month payment rate has fallen off again in the last two months, although the end-of-month payment rate in June 2021 almost matched that in June 2020.
The final chart, below, plots the same data with a shift in the time frame. Rather than plotting the rent payment data by calendar year, the chart plots it by COVID year. The pre-COVID year runs from April 2019 through March 2020. COVID year 1 runs from April 2020 through March 2021. We are now 3 months into COVID year 2. The chart shows that the COVID year 1 payment rates were noticeably down from the rates in the pre-COVID year. However, the end-of month payment rates in COVID year 2 are tracking those in COVID year 1 closely so far.