July 2, 2020
A June survey for apartment rent collections in Oregon and SW Washington illustrates the shifting trends taking place for owners, managers, and tenants, three full months into COVID-19. The latest research by Kidder Mathews shows the number of tenants not paying rent decreased by nearly 3.7% over the last month, while the overall vacancy has increased by almost 1% at the same time.
Data was collected from owners and managers of 308 properties, totaling nearly 10,000 units from June 9th to 12th. The survey was conducted by Kidder Mathews’ multifamily investment team, Jordan Carter, Clay Newton, and Tyler Linn.
For the second straight month, June’s number of leased units not paying rents decreased significantly, this time down from 9.46% to 5.74%, reports Kidder Mathews. The opening of Oregon and SW Washington, outside of Multnomah County, may be one factor for the decrease, as well as stimulus checks and unemployment benefits entering bank accounts another. Still, an increasing vacancy factor from struggling tenants vacating their units may have also contributed. The total percent of vacant units plus unpaid units decreased from 13.65% in May to 10.72% for June.
This month’s survey also showed a notable rise in apartment vacancies, from 4.19% in May to 4.97% in June. This would be one of the larger single month jumps in vacancy in recent memory, notes Kidder Mathews researchers. It seems to coincide with many conversations, with owners and managers, about tenants who tried to hang on for a couple of months but are now leaving in search of other housing options.
When it comes to vacancy, properties located in Portland experienced a significant uptick in vacancy, increasing from 3.09% in May to 7.18% in June. Given Portland is the only major city surveyed that had not begun Phase 1 of reopening at the time of the survey, and the other locations surveyed saw minimal changes to their vacancies, it seems the effects of COVID-19 are weighing more heavily on Portland at this point.
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