How Many Renters Face Eviction when the Eviction Bans End? How Much Worse is it, Compared to the Good Times?

Rent collection data from 11.5 million rental apartments.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

About 44 million households (107 million people) rent their home: 33% a single-family house; 62% an apartment; and 4% a mobile home. Even before the Pandemic, a large number of renters paid their rent late, or made partial payments, or were a month or more behind and faced evictions. That’s the business of being a landlord, even during the Good Times. But how much worse is it now, on the eve of the expiration of the CDC eviction ban?

December started out on the worst note of the Pandemic yet: Through December 6, only 75.4% of households have made full or partial rent payments (some landlords allow partial rent payments) for December, based on a survey of 11.5 million professionally managed apartments, reported by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) today. This is a steep deterioration from November, when 80.4% of household had made a full or partial rent payment by November 6. Last year, 83.2% of households had made a full or partial rental payment by December 6:

These near-real-time data that have been born out of the Pandemic and that compare current days to the same days last year can be a little raw, including calendar shifts. This year, December 5th and 6th fell on a weekend, but last year fell on a Thursday and Friday; and this may have contributed to slowing rent collections, the NMHC points out. The final percentage of how many renters made their December rent payment by the end of December will become available in early January.

The results look a lot better for rent payments by the end of each month. Through the end of November, 93.6% of renters made a full or partial November rent payment, up from 80.4% on November 6th.  In other words, over the month of November 2020, many renters were able to catch up on their rents, but on-time rent collections remained 1.6 percentage points below last year (95.2%):

The NMHC obtains this rent collection data from five property management software providers (Entrata, MRI Software, RealPage, ResMan, and Yardi) that property managers use for functions like rent payment processing. The data is based on about 11.5 million leases and thousands of apartment firms that use one of these software programs. These are “professionally managed” apartments, rather than apartments managed by mom-and-pop operations, though these small operations manage a significant part of the rentals.

The 11.5 million apartments in this sample are market-rate apartments in multifamily buildings. They do not include subsidized affordable units, single-family houses for rent or condos for rent, privatized military housing units, or student housing.

How many millions of households are threatened by eviction?

By December 6, of this sample of 11.5 million renters in apartment buildings, 24.6% had not made the December rent payment. That’s 2.76 million households. But many of them will make the rent payment by the end of the month – as they have in past months.

At the end of November, 6.4% of the renters had not made their November rent payment. That would be 736,000 renters out of 11.5 million that had fallen behind by one month on their rents.

But in November 2019, during the Good Times, 4.8% of the renters were one month behind on their rent, or about 552,000 renters.

In other words, this year at the end of November, about 184,000 more renters had fallen behind than last year, out of this sample of 11.5 million renters.

The sample here of 11.5 million renters represents 26% of the 44 million total renters. If the average rent collection ratios here apply roughly across the rest of the industry, it would suggest that by the end of November, across all 44 million renter households, about 710,000 more rental households than last year were one month behind on their rent.

By December 31, when the CDC eviction ban expires, this might increase some, given the deterioration (beyond the calendar shift) in today’s rent collection data through December 6.

Assume for a moment that by the end of December, 5.4% of renters will not have made the December rent payment, same as in April, the worst month of the Pandemic, then 2.37 million households would be at least one months behind on rent, compared to 1.01 million households at the end of December 2019 — still the Good Times.

If these assumptions for December 2020 play out, 1.36 million more households than a year ago would be behind at least one month on rent when the CDC eviction ban expires, of a total of 44 million renter households.

(Note that some state and local eviction bans have been extended into 2021. So the number of households facing eviction in January would be smaller.)

It’s still a large number, the 1.36 million more renters than last year facing eviction, and it’s a tragedy for these renters, and it’s a tough business for landlords that have tenants who stopped paying rent. But it’s a far cry from the breath-taking mind-boggling numbers bandied about in some of the media of 30 million to 40 million people being threatened by eviction in 2020.

The cut-off date (Nov. 14) kept much of the hit from the Covid spike out of the jobs report. Then there are the long-term hits to the American job market, such as rampant globalization. Read… The Jobs Report is a Mess, December Will Be Messier

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  149 comments for “How Many Renters Face Eviction when the Eviction Bans End? How Much Worse is it, Compared to the Good Times?

  1. Seneca's cliff says:

    Here is another dynamic that will play out in some cities as the rental eviction bans and mortgage forbearance ends. A block from the coffee shop where I have gone for the last 10 years is a house that has been in foreclosure for quite some time. A large of protestors has been camped on the yard for the last few months to prevent the elderly couple who owned the house from being evicted. Today dozens of sheriffs and city cops came to finish the foreclosure eviction and get rid of the protestors just as I was getting my coffee. Dozens more people from the neighborhood joined the protesters and a struggle ensued. After a few hours of back and forth law enforcement was driven away ( I assume to return at another time with different tactics) . I can see this scenario being played many places in the future.

    • Paulo says:

      Senecas story reminded me of the dust bowl evictions of the G Depression and the mass migrations from OK to CA.

      Where do people go these days?

      • Anthony A. says:

        “Where do people go these days?”

        Well, one elderly lady has started coming into the Burger King myself and my friends meet each morning about 7:00 am (ROMEO group).

        She is apparently homeless and has a travel bag with her each morning and a sleeping bag. She is probably in her 60’s and wears an old, heavy coat. She has a $2 breakfast and coffee, sits away from everybody, and leaves. Never says a word to anyone of the customers. This is a pretty upscale neighborhood north of Houston, Texas.

        • w says:

          Does Anyone from thisthe Monied area try to help her by giving store giftcards,buspass,grocerycards,socialservice help?This is shameful that so many in this country have So Much while Many more people fall quickly into poverty and death!This lady is Someone’s daughter,granddaughter,niece,cousin,sister,exwife,possibly a retired nurse.Before s.security,this was Very common for older women to be homeless,impoverished,malnourished,almost homeless-forgotten and tossed aside like garbage because they were no longer pretty or productive or caretakers!

        • Heinz says:

          Another time-honored routine, which I do not recommend, is to lightly break the law and end up in jail with 3 squares a day and a warm bed.

        • MarMar says:

          Not square, not warm.

      • Gandalf says:

        The other place these homeless people go is into hospitals, when they get sick or incapacitated (e.g., found down by passerbys or police). As almost all have no insurance and Federal law (EMTLA) prohibits dumping of indigents by hospital ERs, their healthcare and upkeep at the nearest hospital that they are taken to is paid for with your higher insurance premiums. Once spruced up back to health, placement becomes the problem of the hospital social worker.

        • They often go to the ER simply for a safe, warm place to sleep and eat, according to my friend in the ER. Just claim to have a headache or thoughts of self harm. And to get there, police escort with getting for delivery.

          We’ll see where the weak spots are in this pressure cooker.

      • MiTurn says:

        Live in their vehicles.

      • Frederick says:

        Slab City don’t ya know

      • pepe says:

        I am a landlord. If I evict somebody, I then have to replace them with someone else and that cost money. To find another renter, I have to refurbish the apt, advertise, interview, and hopefully find a tenant as good as the one I already have. I would be better served to write off the lost rent, forgive my tenants, who have paid well up till now, and resume charging them once they get back to work. Sometimes, in life, you just have to bite the bullet and move on.

        • Alice koch says:

          I love this example you set. God bless you 70 x7 for each renter you spare.

      • Ed C says:

        I’ve heard stories of some homeless getting a $10 a month Planet Fitness membership. They lock in a place they can go to take a shower.

    • MJ says:

      I hope state and city services for the elderly have been contacted on their behalf, and church community, if they have one.
      Protesting is good; obtaining resources even better!

      • nodecentrepublicansleft says:

        A cop in the city I live in arrested a homeless guy for charging his cell phone at a city park. He was “stealing” electricity.

    • A.King says:

      Protesters should petition the gov’t about the dearth of low-income subsidized public housing for Seniors.
      When you start seeing elderly couples suiciding together, maybe you’all see the Secretary of HUD DO something about it…..but not until confronts with heartlessly statistics!

      • Sierra7 says:

        A. King (and others)
        I really believe that if the Covid restrictions don’t abate soon we will see an increasing elderly suicide rate. Too many have been “exiled” since March 2020 and observing some great increases in stresses of not being able to see their families when they live in more or less, “retirement communities” and are confined……..many not even being yet able to drive just to get groceries.
        Going to get increasingly ugly for the elderly.
        May we see better days.

    • w says:

      Good for the protesters!This is what many people did decades ago.They tried to Protect the vulnerable from the powerful and predatory-wuite often the bug bankers who gave no leeway to the disabled,the elderly,or the families.Many mor important and worthy activities the cops or sherriffs should be doing rather than illegally surveiling or making homeless their Fellow American Humanbeings!Maybe focus on human traffickers or serious drugdealers???

      • Ed C says:

        Evictions aren’t illegal. As unfortunate as these situations are, property owners have rights. Bleep happens. Life is tough. Not every damned bad thing that happens warrants protests or riots. Try living in the real world and not some conjured up fair and wonderful utopia.

        • On the one hand I totally hear that and indict a huge swatch of our society. On the other hand, I’ve experienced firsthand how corporations go out of their way to create an unnavigable, labyrinthine, impenetrable defense against their “valued customers”. I’m entirely unsure where the truth sits.

    • Xabier says:

      That sort of thing happened a lot in Spain after 2008.

      Guess who won in the end, the protesters or enforcement with the legal monopoly of coercive power?

    • Sam says:

      Since the mayor was re-elected, no more pontificating with protestors.
      LEO will crack heads with impunity. Probably early am strike.
      Regentrification will continue.

    • Frederick says:

      Sounds to me like you live in the Pacific Northwest somewhere

  2. The Count says:

    Being someone who has never missed a rent payment, this article made me think what would’ve happened if I had saved up all the rent payments since April and with a little extra cash bought an RV and hit the road.

    Might have been fun. Might have been a real pain in posterier.

    • Roger says:

      Soon maybe it Will be rented free. Either government pay your rent or The flat Will be over taken by The renter. Can be risky to rent out and owing many properties.

      • Joe Saba says:

        yes we call people that use covid not to pay
        DEADBEATS
        if the shoe fits
        I have a few – one moved out thankfully
        2 others – 1 trying other not
        guess what I’m gonna do

        • Joe in LA says:

          Ok, I’ll guess: continue to be be a parasitic rentier and seek fresh victims?

        • TheRealMRDyno says:

          For Joe in LA – what should the parasitic rentiers do with their money? We have a rental house, paid for by not going to bars, restaurants, vacations, doing everything ourselves, etc. Would it be more virtuous to have purchased some Corvettes, expensive guns, gone out to eat? In that case the renters would live where exactly? Also, note that our renters DO go out to eat, drink, movies, etc. Lots of free choices lead to these circumstances.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Landlords are not parasites, they are symbionts.

    • Harrold says:

      You wouldn’t be the only one, RV prices have sky rocketed.

      • VintageVNVet says:

        Please LMK where that has or is happening H,
        Been in the mkt for an RV travel type trailer for a couple of years, and watching closely CL in various destinations in CA and FL a long time.
        Prices for used did go up a bit in the late spring/early summer, but have gone down more in the last few weeks both places, in spite of ”the season” coming on in FL, which usually means higher prices for RV stuff, boats, even the RE usually has a rise between now and March.
        Thinking or hoping a lot of folks have recently bought new, and will be selling cheaper after they try it out for a while and realize it’s a bunch of work, a bunch of new maintenance challenges, etc.
        Unfortunately also seeing boats at totally sucker prices, so the usual seasonal move down might be delayed by the HUGELY HOPIUM promulgated by the usual brainwashing/advertising venues…

      • Frederick says:

        RVs are just a big headache Devalue hugely just driving out of the lot and used ones usually have expensive problems like boats No thanks

      • economicminor says:

        Lots of issues owning and maintaining an RV. You either have one with a motor or you pull it with a motor. I’ve had a few and there is always something that doesn’t work right or needs maintenance. Or just wears out, like the tires and brakes. My advice is that if you aren’t really handy with fixing things, you don’t want one because those who work on them are not cheap. Sort of like the saying about a boat, a hole in the water to dump money.. An RV is a hole in the road to dump money.

  3. Memento mori says:

    Thank you for pointing that out Wolf, great insights.
    I bet those 5 and 6th of December being on a weekend will make a big difference and by the end of December rent collection will be similar to last year. I know that by experience.
    All our tenants have paid in full and they seem flush with money given the TV and other packages we have to haul away from the garbage area continuously, we almost have one person full time cutting boxes and filling garbage cans this year.
    It makes one wonder, why is the media blowing this to apocalyptic proportions , as if there was an agenda behind, we need MOAR STIMULUS, pathetic.

    • MonkeyBusiness says:

      1. They lied about who they were going to pick as President.
      2. Supposedly they can’t come up with 500 dollars for emergencies either.

      I agree with you, the media is overstating the problems. Are there people who need help? Absolutely. Are there a lot of them? Don’t think so.

      • Mr. House says:

        wait wait wait, the media lies? I am shocked, shocked i tell you, to find that gambling happens in this establishment! We live in the age of fraud. If it is not removed from the “body” (last chance to come clean was 2008) it grows and moves to every other portion of the body.

        • Sierra7 says:

          Mr. House:
          “….last chance to come clean was 2008”
          +1000

        • Zantetsu says:

          What does “last chance to come clean was 2008” mean? Sierra7 agrees and I don’t even know what it means.

        • Mr. House says:

          It means the last chance to clear the bad debt, let prices of assets go where people can afford them. Letting the “free” market actually do its thing and be the great leveler in society. Making all equally poor and wiping out predatory corporations. What was your take on 2008 Zantetsu? Because since then all i’ve seen is a doubling down on lies.

        • Zantetsu says:

          Thanks for your clarification Mr. House, and yes, I agree with your assessment …

      • Trailer Trash says:

        There are people living in tents in a park in Montreal. Right now. They are not there because they enjoy the outdoors.

        In New Brunswick people are reporting huge increases in rent, like 50% at one time. There are no rentals they can afford to move to. What happens to them in December?

        Forget the reported numbers. They offer clues, sometimes. Look around, not just one’s own neighborhood. Add in all the impending foreclosures and we are looking at a disaster bigger than the virus, which is already a medical and economic disaster.

        The US claims to be richest, bestest, most exceptional nation ever, but with this many homeless people anywhere else in the world, the UN would be setting up refugee camps.

        And Dear Leaders don’t even seem to notice. They are incapable of even trying old ideas, like the Civilian Conservation Corps. An image of a Roman bathhouse orgy while Rome burns, comes to mind.

        • Mr. House says:

          The homeless problem has been exploding in the United States since the GFC (which never ended). That, opiods, you don’t hear much about. But we’ve got to save every 100 year old in a nursing home! I think i read recently that more people have committed suicide in Japan this year then from covid.

    • Harrold says:

      The poor have it too easy!

      — Louis XVI, 1793

      • Ed C says:

        Let them eat Ice Cream!

        — Nancy Pelosi, 2020

        Who conveniently came around on more covid relief AFTER she got the election result she wanted. Shameful.

      • Oliver Singer says:

        Louis XIV, actually

    • Ethan in NoVA says:

      It is probably highly dependent on the area? In Northern Virginia jobs seem to be okay but I swear I saw reports that a huge number of mortgages are on forbearance. Among my friends none of them are without a job, but I recognize that my circle of friends doesn’t represent the usual population it’s mostly tech workers with a portion being tied to government contracting. But go to other regions where they don’t have the government teet things could be a lot worse.

  4. 2banana says:

    Never let a crisis go to waste…

    “But it’s a far cry from the breath-taking mind-boggling numbers bandied about in some of the media of 30 million to 40 million people being threatened by eviction in 2020.”

    • Cas127 says:

      Yeah,

      That is the thing about the modern day G…there is always this (faint or permeating) odor of manipulation/deceit around almost everything they do.

      It comes from decades of “never letting a crisis go to waste” only to find ourselves in an accelerating cycle of crises (from which the 4 or 5 million strong political class seems to always hold itself harmless).

      Even C19 response gives off this smell to a certain degree, economically looking at least a little like a way to pump out stealth “stimulus” since we end up in bizarro world where at least 10-20 million jobs (out of 150 million) are lost or seriously disrupted…yet macro stats mainly reflect…ZIRP boom.

      And so the downward cycle tightens and accelerates.

      • Jeff says:

        Well said. I moved to San Diego recently and have been looking at houses and it’s definitely bizarro world. I need a house but not sure I want to buy in this euphoria, but….a part of me wonders if stimulus is here to stay and we just keep on booming up.

        • Two things about SD, the county board of supervisors flipped Democrat in the election. Not sure what it means but more affordable housing projects in the exurbs – probably) and SD is the new SF. We have the next silicon valley, in biotech. The freeway situation is not going to get better, Sandag is committed to no new lane expansions. Vacant land sells at a discount to housing, if you can make that work for you. If you buy in the “right” depressed area you could do well. It’s hard to buy an area you don’t know, so take some time, drive around on W/Es, read and watch PBS, and always check with the planning commission before you buy, ask about their long term projects, like freeways, schools etc. RE agents don’t do their job, do your own diligence. Engineering fees and permits are expensive and time consuming, if you have some knowledge and can get things done, you will do fine.

      • Mr. House says:

        “Even C19 response gives off this smell to a certain degree”

        I’m glad to see some of you have regained your sense of smell!

        • Mr. House says:

          @Cas127

          What was going on in the REPO markets starting in Sept of 2019? Heck remember in December of 2018 the fed was still planning on raising rates a few times in 2019? What magically got fixed in March of 2020 with an even larger bailout then in 08?

  5. Heinz says:

    It is not stated how many renters are entire months in arrears on paying their rent by taking advantage of a lengthy eviction moratorium, and not just late in making current monthly rent.

    To hear landlords tell it, once a renter falls behind a month or more in rent, the likelihood they will ever catch up is dicey at best.

    Will the small mom and pop landlords be devastated because of all this?

    I think so, unless .gov steps in and provides financial bailouts to both landlords and renters with no strings attached– so no one suffers.

    After all, everyone from top corporations down to Joe and Jane Sixpack should be made whole and never be hurt by economic disruptions, right? That appears to be case in these MMT times.

    • cas127 says:

      “It is not stated how many renters are entire months in arrears”

      Yeah, I agree.

      Although Wolf did yeoman work in assembling the delinquency stats, I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen (from at least facially reliable sources) that arrearages are running in to the 10’s of billions.

      I’ll see if I can get links.

      It is at least possible that Apt owner associations are putting a surface sheen on the arrearages stats in order to preserve their members’ valuations.

      Rent roll “creativity” has been pointed out in the commercial sector for the same reason…no potential buyer or cash out refi lender is going to take it well if huge rent roll arrearages are clearly on the books.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        You’ve got to remember that a lot of renters are late paying rent, or don’t pay rent even during the Good Times. That’s why being a landlord is not a freebee. But what matters is this: how much worse is it now than last year?

        • Cas127 says:

          Fair enough.

          I did manage to locate the source I remembered.

          https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2020-07-29/us-renters-owe-215-billion-in-back-rent-republicans-offer-no-eviction-relief.

          And that was back in July.

          But it doesn’t address your pt about whether or not it is an *incremental* increase due to covid…although they make it sound like it.

          It is interesting that real estate (despite being heavily leveraged) really still has some of the weakest aggregate stats coverage.

          Granted, there are only about 4000 good sized stocks and 130 million some households, but it somewhat unnerving that aggregate real estate financial data is still pretty poor relative to equity financial data.

          And it was much, much worse for RE data not that long ago.

          I’m sure the Fed makes some efforts in this area (pursuant to bank loan tracking) but I think aggregate data collection in this area ain’t so great.

          Which is troubling because ZIRP has operated for 20 yrs largely through the leveraged real estate channel (somehow without ever really, really goosing up housing supply/construction employment…which presumably was the whole pt of ZIRP’ing in the first place.)

        • Wolf Richter says:

          That estimate in the article you linked (from July) is another one of those numbers that have been used by advocacy groups, such as those in the article, to advocate for more free money. These numbers are all over the place.

          That said, $20 billion in rent isn’t such a huge number, when you have 44 million renter households. And I’ve seen much higher estimates of rent owed. They go in line with the “30-40 million people threatened with eviction in 2020.”

          For many people with money, renting is a choice. They’re medium to high income and just don’t want to own. You can see that at the median rents in many cities that are over $2,000 a month, with nicer units renting for many thousands of $ a month, and you can see it at the high-end apartment towers, and even high-end single-family houses for rent. It’s not only poor people that rent.

        • raxadian says:

          I would say that what really matters is how worse is gonna be next year as people gets vaccinated and stimulus money dries up.

          So for Landlords 2021 is gonna suck even more than 2020 did.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Wolf and Cas,
          IMO the lack of information on the RE mkt is deliberately done to hide the continuing take over of the SFR and other residential type properties including large multi family and even ACLF and similar properties for elders..
          Saw the hedgies and PE folks competing in the tpa bay area mkt in 2014-15 while trying to find a SFR as near as possible aged (90ish) in laws needing a lot of care, etc.
          At that time, almost nothing available except if needing a lot of work, but finally found one that the PE ”bird dog” had greatly misunderstood/underestimated the work needed to make decent due to foreclosed former owner trashing it…
          Other than that one, almost all other SFRs were being held by some kind of ”crony/shadowy stuff” according to our very good realtor,,, and she says this tendency continued until the current crazy boom stopped it, for now, in our neighborhood.

        • Lynn says:

          VintageVNvet

          This. Exactly this. I was looking in 2012 or 2013 and wasn’t even allowed by the selling agents to look at several properties, a day or a few after they came on the market. Because realtors had them cached them aside for a big buyer. No financing available for any foreclosures- had to be all cash. Then when they sold it was all under asking price. We were a little bit short then and I’m a little bit short now.

          The banks stole our housing in the 1930’s, in the 20teens and will be doing it now if they aren’t all ready.

        • WSKJ says:

          One datum:

          My renters are paid through December 2020. They have chosen to pay quarterly, for reasons of their own.

          Last year at about this time, they had just moved in. Previous renters (after some months in which the house was vacant) had moved on to buy their own home in another inland NW state.

          We the landlords are not all rentiers. Does anyone who is not a rentier, but is a landlord, fall in the mom and pop category ?

          Thx, as usual, Wolf.

    • Heinz says:

      “At the moment, $70 billion in unpaid back rent and utilities are set to come due, according to a new report via Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi.”

      Also, in KC area, it is reported that 40% of landlords (members of a housing coalition) have said they will have to sell their units because of lack of income (rents not paid).

      These landlord are reportedly afraid to speak out about deadbeat renters for fear of backlash from SJW and their ‘Cancel Rent’ movement, which is rather vocal in KC urban area.

      Other stories probably also abound about small-time landlords’ being crushed by deadbeat tenants, either irresponsible grifters or those fallen on hard times.

      • WSKJ says:

        correction to my comment above (it’s so easy to get careless with syntax):

        Previous tenants moved out some months before the new tenants moved in. So about 6 months of vacancy (mice move in if possible; and so on)

        • Paulo says:

          WSKJ

          I am a small time landlord who actually built a 640 sq ft cottage for a homeless friend of mine. I charge him a whopping $400/month, about 1/2 the going rate in our rural area. He put in the well and relocated his shop to the property. He has no family beyond my wife and I. He is on a small IWA (now Steelworkers) pension, plus CPP and OAP (Canada).

          I built the place with leftover materials from past jobs. Post and beam, vaulted ceiling, smartboard siding, yellow cedar trim. It’s pretty nice. With all services including a transformer, hydro pole, 100′ underground wiring for the lead in, I have 40K invested in it excluding labour. The biggest single expense was electrical, and that was at wholesale prices. A local lumber yard gave me the materials at cost when they found out what it was for. (Manager is a friend of mine).

          When my 80 year old buddy has to move, or passes away, we hope to rent to another senior. Other people around here do the same thing. We look after our seniors around here. The only homeless guy that people avoid is a local drunk. In that case he crashes at his moms.

        • Cas127 says:

          Paulo,

          “I built the place with…”

          Kudos on your thoughtfulness.

          It also brings up the question why new build lower cost housing has been notably scarce over the last decade despite soaring median new build home prices (up at *least* 50% over the past decade).

          Technology should be disseminating home building knowledge much more widely (look at the youtube tutorials alone) and I can’t believe materials costs have risen 50% (they’re almost all commodities).

          I’m also puzzled by the absence of effort by non profits like Habitat for Humanity to make concerted, centralized efforts to disseminate simple, prepackaged homebuilding knowledge (including costs) outside of their standard large group efforts…it is a lot more broadly effective to broadcast detailed knowledge compared to trying to herd large groups of volunteers together on a series of ad hoc builds.

          I’ve looked, and H4H really doesn’t put out a significant amount of publications concerning the how to’s and how much’s of homebuilding…which is very surprising.

      • Frederick says:

        I had one of those “ grifters” in 2012 He was from Italy, called himself a “ businessman” and he ended up stiffing me on 4 months rent Didn’t bother trying to find him Would have cost me more than it was worth Trashed the apartment as well I’ve had a great tenant since then thankfully and I give him a break on the rent to keep him
        Live and learn I suppose

  6. MonkeyBusiness says:

    Extend and pretend.

    Guaranteed.

    • Joe Saba says:

      sure ok
      I followed up after election by foreclosing on WOKE couple
      now they can live in real world
      already SOLD property in question – this time cash

    • Sam says:

      Extended to June ’21 in OR.

  7. Micheal Engel says:

    1) If u add a downtrend bar, a 6% decline, between Dec 2019 @83.2% and Apr 2020, for two years the trend is down. It started in Apr 2019 @83% and ended @75.4%.
    2) The same results for the next chart (by the end of the month) in a narrow low slog down.
    3) It started in Apr 2019 @97.5% and ended in Nov 2020 @93.6%.
    4) Most of the delinquencies are happening in the salt water cities,
    where rent is too high, where rent seeker landlords are not fair.
    5) Dec 31 eviction cutoff is a real threat.
    6) The average hourly earning reached a new all time high in Apr 2020 @$30.
    7) Since June the trend is up. Dec 2020 earning will be a lower high.
    8 ) Dec & Jan 2021 rent will be paid at a higher rate.
    9) Without stimulus, rent might plunge in Apr 2021.
    10) If the new administration will kick the evictions cutoff down, by mid
    2021 rent will plunge.

  8. AbstractSyntax says:

    Yep, and ultimately the taxpayer will probably be on the hook to bail them out, including the normal percentage of renters that wouldn’t pay regardless of the pandemic. That’s not to say these people don’t have problems– I just don’t like covid being used to justify so much spending talk these days (e.g. student loans).

    As a related aside, a majority of Americans are clamoring for more stimulus checks– I’d wager almost the same number would have wanted them pre-pandemic. I’m also fairly confident that many Americans would jump at the idea of $1M be printed and given to everyone individually.

    • andy says:

      $1M to everyone individually is fair, as long as everyone is Jeff Bezzos.

    • Mr. House says:

      @AbstractSyntax

      2008 was not a liquidity crisis, 2008 was a solvency crisis. It’s only gotten worse since then. Imagine the United states as a renter, well we are 12 years behind on “rent payments”.

  9. yxd0018 says:

    To entice voters, the eviction ban will be kicked down the road again. After all, voters don’t see the bill and won’t care anyway. So happy for everyone.
    Economy will slowly goes back to normal or make it feel normal. Don’t fight the fed and interest won’t rise and the country can’t afford it rising.

    • Frederick says:

      Nothing has been “ normal” about the US or EU economies since at least 2008 probably much further back IMO anyway

      • Mr. House says:

        I’d say the last good years were pre year 2000. I don’t think the economy has ever fully recovered from the bursting of the dot.com bubble. Excellent observation though frederick, more people need to remember this. Though most Americans have the memory of a goldfish.

        • cas127 says:

          “I’d say the last good years were pre year 2000.”

          Macro stats and Fed policy agree.

          You can tell by the Fed’s 20 yr “fatal attraction” with ZIRP (savers being the boiled bunnies) that the insiders insiders know in detail that something has gone
          fundamentally wrong with the American economy.

          ZIRP is not a policy of a healthy CB.

          From purely a timing perspective, it looks like canny/conniving Chinese macro policy and DC corruption/Incompetence has dealt what might be a death blow to a US jobs machine that worked for decades/centuries.

  10. David Hall says:

    Evictions in frigid January are sad. They hired people to carry the contents of the property to the curb. A police officer watched. They did not want to put harmful objects by the curb. Someone changed the locks. Neighbors were not supposed to steal the stuff, but they thought it was trash and started to take what they wanted. Informed tenants were gone the day before eviction day.

  11. Beardawg says:

    Surprisingly small change in delinquencies YOY.

    I agree politics will play out and large and small landlords will be asked to shoulder losses while legit and deadbeat non-payors play the system.

    My advice to landlords….rehab and sell what you can now while market is strong. Make rentals someone else’s problem.

    I say this also because the Great Recession brought moral hazard to an all time high. Covid-cession, with Govt intervention against landlords (no evictions) AND against lenders (forbearance) makes it clear RE Owners and lenders are a targeted Class.

    • Shiloh1 says:

      Not to mention the local property tax bill the landlord has pay to support the essential government workers, including those conjuring up these ridiculous rules, who haven’t missed a dollar of pay all year.

      Did anyone miss the item about Ann Sather restaurant owned by a Chicago Alderman in Chicago yesterday?

      • w says:

        From Chicago suburbs,I did not know/hear that.Which Alderman?I Do know there were Very lengthy,heated negotiations between Mayor Lightfoot and citycouncil over budget cuts and taxhikes.Mayor was very proud to announce No gov. Staff to be axed,but regressive gas tax and I think property tax hikes are to occur.That city is toast between bankruptcy,increased violence,looters,Insane rents for crappy hole-in-the-wall apts.and overstressed social services.Did not even mention crappy,crowded schools,and uptick in carhacking and arson.blockclubchicago.com and The Reader will give insight,but skewed Left.

      • Heinz says:

        Again, I believe that as all these mortgage, rent, and student debt forbearance experiments evolve in crazy ‘Covid times’ we shall see even more bold forays into UBI-type games and ‘little guys too’ bailouts, large and small.

        Prudent individuals who played ethically by the rules will be thrown to the curbs.

        After all, everyone has gone absolutely nuts at this tail end of a humongous debt cycle. As far as we know, there has been nothing like it in human history.

        • Frederick says:

          I agree It grieves me no end hearing about student debt foregiveness after scrimping for my sons 4 years at Georgetown which wasn’t a small nut let me tell you

        • Mr. House says:

          You’ve already been thrown to the curb for 12 years with .1 percent interest rates on savings accounts.

      • lenert says:

        I already pay more property taxes than that airplane company in Chicago.

  12. GotCollateral says:

    Something tells me that although its probably not as bad as 30 million, the sampling bias from this ~25% subset is still substantially underselling the weakness, but its good to see that at least some segment of the market isn’t as affected.

    Though doesn’t say if their software counts leases that are in forbearance (like labor force participation rate and unemployment numbers lol)

    • Wolf Richter says:

      GotCollateral,

      Couple of things:

      1. The sampling bias is that these are all apartments, not single-family houses, and they’re all managed by larger companies that use property management software, not mom-and-pop operations.

      Other segments have different stories:

      The big single-family-house rental REITs, such as American Homes 4 Rent and Invitation Homes, have reported on-time rent collections at about the same level as last year without measurable deterioration. Seems people who rent their houses (not low end) are paying just fine.

      A couple of months ago I did a survey here of readers who are landlords – mostly small-ish landlords – some of them with lower end rentals, and they reported some deterioration — some landlords had no problems, others had some problems — compared to a year ago. Overall maybe in the range of a 2 percentage point deterioration. You can look at their stories — a couple of hundred landlords reporting (interesting reading):

      https://wolfstreet.com/2020/09/02/landlords-please-chime-in-after-cdc-eviction-moratorium-state-eviction-bans-how-big-is-nonpayment-of-rent/#comment-283829

      Here in San Francisco (about 60% of the housing stock is rental) what I hear is that people are moving out when the lease is up, but rent collections are not far off from last year.

      2. The software counts full and partial rent receipts – meaning money arrived by certain dates. That is all it reports here. Forbearance doesn’t play a role in the data here.

      • yxd0018 says:

        So could the majority of forbearance beneficial be strategic or in trouble before the pandemic?

      • GotCollateral says:

        Thanks for the clarification Wolf.

        re#2 If it tracks money received by date x, for a lease in the system regardless of whether in forbearance or not, then I guess that makes sense. And in the context of “what I hear is that people are moving out when the lease is up,” it would probably be helpful to see if we can get # leases outstanding over time in these systems (occupacy??).

        • Wolf Richter says:

          What I also should have said is that in San Francisco, normally you have a 1-year lease that then switches to month-to-month for years to come. So for tenants that have lived there for over 1 year, the move-out date can be any time with 30 days notice.

  13. GotCollateral says:

    > It incentivizes bad behavior.

    Better to incentivize bad behavior now and deal with looming insolvency later… at least that’s what I got from Bernanke, Yellen and Powell 3-way on 60 min lol

  14. Paulo says:

    I thought this wasn’t a political or propaganda site?

    You forgot to boost anti vaxxers, the hoax, and stir up fake news. Plus a few other memes.

    sigh.

  15. Robert says:

    Do they have stats on how many businesses did not pay their rent? I’ve read 30% of small businesses in NY and NJ have closed.

    Although if the business closes it might not be classified as ‘not paying’.

  16. Dave says:

    Neither, the rich are the first in line to be made whole, we fight for the crumbs…..

  17. c1ue says:

    I agree the liberal MSM numbers are hyperbolic, but 1.5 million households evicted is not nothing either.
    If these households average 1.5 people each, that’s still in the range of 0.7% of the entire population of the US being evicted.

  18. Nacho Libre says:

    Love the holiday color scheme of the charts.

    For Christmas, may Santa bring back common sense and good times.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Like in military, there should be a court martial to try the members of the congress who voted for and the administration officials who managed these programs.

    Banning them from holding office for life is the just sentence.

  20. Rcohn says:

    Why are most of these people not paying their rent? Because of unemployment resulting from government actions.Should such people be helped out ?As a fiscal conservative( not a Republican or Democrat) I say YES). But is/ was there any reason why these people should have received unemployment monies far in excess of what they were making before becoming unemployed. NO
    And it is immoral and criminal for companies controlled by the rich to receive loans under the cares act.
    The underlying cause of these excesses is that government spending is considered to have no cost, so why not spend. And what is behind this excess government spending . The FED.

    • c1ue says:

      I think most people agree that those unable to pay rent due to COVID lockdown related unemployment should be helped out.
      The problem is how do you do it?
      From what I have seen, the unemployment programs are immensely inefficient in a technology sense. It took heroic efforts just to get the $600 add-ons earlier this year; to actually match payments with lost income is absolutely impossible.
      For one thing: unemployment payouts are generally “banded” – i.e. the amount you get paid for unemployment is a function of how much you make as grouped into ranges of income. For people at the low end of the per-hour scale – how do you match up 2 or 3 jobs, of which 1 to 3 are lost – with this scale?
      Secondly, how do you verify that a job was lost due to COVID vs. other reasons? Turnover at the minimum wage level positions is super high to start with.
      Then there’s the economic harm done to those who are employers: small businesses such as hair salons, restaurants, consultants etc. These people don’t pay unemployment insurance because they aren’t “employees”, yet they are 100% harmed by lockdowns.
      They tend to be better off than the lower tier workers, but I guarantee that most of this group’s savings has been destroyed by the first round of lockdowns in Spring.
      This Winter – there is going to be real pain. Besides the destruction of the holiday shopping season – California locking down for the 3 weeks before Xmas and the Bay Area for a full month…so far – stimulus checks are a distant memory.
      This will be interesting: a middle class at least partly up in arms vs. a lower class and oligarchy that are mostly satisfied.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        GOOD summary c-1,,, until your last bit, “a middle class at least partly up in arms vs. a lower class and oligarchy that are mostly satisfied.”
        Don’t know where you get the idea of either end of that, albeit likely you and I/we are not using the same definitions of middle class, lower class, and oligarchy.
        Starting at the oligarchy end, I can only say that my decades of working with and for such of allegedly that kind of folks, from late 1950s to 2019 suggests to my mind they are, mostly, NEVER satisfied and never will be.
        As to the lower classes, in spite of such always bringing to mind the DoyleCarte episode of G&S where was sung, IIRC, ”bow bow you lower middle classes, bow bow you tradesmen and you masses..”
        (OK, on here because of the knowledgeable folks, I have to say that is likely not exactly correct, due to what was CRS, and now has progressed to CRFS.)
        As to the middle classes,,, that is such an ill defined category these days as to make it at least ambiguous, and more likely at worst manipulating (ed) or false/disingenuous; and from that ambiguity we can thus proceed to say anything, or almost anything we want, eh???
        Since Wolf has declined to agree to my suggestion, a few threads ago, that he should run for president, (not that i blame him one bit due to the continuing corruption of ”the parties”) ,, at least he can do is at least to start to codify such terminology ON Wolfsite.com
        As now an elder without doubt,,, all I want, and to be clear, am willing to work for until I can’t, is at least the same freedoms for my great grandchildren, the current grands not anywhere near the freedoms I had…
        All seriousness aside folks, Wolf and the commentariat on here could do it, at least to those here and paying attention:
        1. Simple rules:
        2. Simple definitions following those rules, but derived from current situations, not 200 years ago, etc.
        3. Simple suggestions for continuous improvement following the principles promulgated by Deming, et alia.

        As has been said many times, “If the people lead, the politicians will follow.”
        Time and enough for WE the PEEDONs,, AKA WE THE PEOPLE to lead once again to get this mess straightened out.

        ME, please add in here as to where to go…

        Thank you,

        • c1ue says:

          @VintageVNVet
          The likely difference is my definition of satisfied is vs yours.
          An oligarchy which is always seeking to get more isn’t “satisfied” in the sense that it is content with what it has, but it is definitely satisfied in not advocating radical change.
          The same holds for the truly poor: they may not be “satisfied” in that their lives are what they want, but they clearly are not dis-satisfied in not radically pushing for real change.
          Let’s also talk about what constitutes the oligarchy and the truly poor:
          In my view, the oligarchy is the 10% – the 0.1% lead, the 1% manage and the 8.9% protect their rice bowls.
          The truly poor are those who are partly or significantly supported by the government. This includes the college loan recipients, the SNAP recipients and those who receive Section 8/Social Security disability/welfare housing+health care – of which there is significant overlap.
          Some numbers: There were 19M SNAP households in 2019, it is almost 20 million now. The US has 128.6M households now – so SNAP households are over 15% of the population.
          I’ve seen a CIS report which stated almost 40M households in the US receive some sort of means-tested welfare – which is over 30%.
          Where is the revolution from these groups? I don’t mean angry Facebook posts or even sporadic rioting.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          VV, the politicians ceased following the People on 3 October 2008. That’s the date when, after receiving overwhelming negative comments from the People through the end of September, the House (the people’s representatives) voted against the People and passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. Thus began Money For Nothing (MFN theory) with dwindling yields which have persisted almost continuously for 12 years.

      • w says:

        How do you figure the lowerclass is satisfied?They are rent/mortgage burdened with many paying forty-seventy percent of Net$ to Not be homeless-possibly again.They work two or three jobs.They drive older,more mechanically vulnerable cars or pay higher interest and higher percent of net$ for longer durations to have a more reliable vehicle.They see their future and their kids’futures slipping away as college costs go through the roof.Many of these people would not be Eligible for unemployment because of volatile,unsustained work history for a variety of reasons.These satisfied people live in more polluted,blighted,and dangerous areas patrolled by predator cops.These people often do not have access to affordable,reliable,Safe publictranspirt which is Now getting funding cuts nationwide.These satisfied people are underinsured and put up with inconsistent,subpar medical care and subpar internet access.These satisfied lower classes send their kids to subpar schools or have to pay a much larger share of their bet$ to get jr. A safe,decent education.Car insurance costs are often higher also because of the zipcode in which the car is registered.Sounds Fun!!!

        • c1ue says:

          Please see my comment above regarding definitions of “satisfied” and “poor”/”oligarchy”.
          What you note as poor are the very upper layer of the welfare group and the next economic demographic layer above that: people who work because they think they ought to or are progressing.
          The reality is that 15% to 30% of the US, or more, doesn’t.
          Nor are these people necessarily stupid. If you’re getting a $188/month 2BD apartment in SF plus money for food, free health care, etc – how is getting even a $15/hour job better? Particularly if you can supplement all these perks with under-the-table income whether it is drug dealing, Etsy selling or whatever.
          Note that I’m not saying this is a great life – rather that it is a lot less worse than working 2 or 3 jobs, attempting to pay rent.

  21. Sam says:

    Comrade Napoleon: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

  22. Jon says:

    Ground report from San Diego.. touristy spot and service based economy along with hi-tech
    A lot of my friends in service industry are suffering and they stopped paying full rent..
    Their unemployment benefits running out i guess end of this month
    Sadly a lot of their jobs are not coming back as well
    I sold my rental in San Diego 2 months back .. relieved
    Lets see…

    • Jeff says:

      Bet it was easy to sell. We moved here recently and the sfh market is crazy…

    • Saylor says:

      In this same area, I had noticed a lot more panhandling on the street corners in the last three years. Some increase in the visible homeless also. After the virus hit, I’m not sure if they are homeless or not but more panhandling by older women. Very sad as they are among the ‘most’ exploited. A curious thing is that at least along the west coast, larger boats are reported to be selling quickly.

  23. Yort says:

    Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi recently said $70 billion in unpaid back rent and utilities are due soon.

    So if the stroke of a pen can vanquish $400 billion of student loans on the first day of Christmas, can our true love give us $70 billion rent forgiveness and two turtle doves on the second day of Christmas???

    Best Christmas Recession Ever!

    • Anthony says:

      Yort..

      Well an extra $470 billion in printed money would tickle the dollar a little bit downwards, giving gold yet another boost but most gold bugs are hoping for the Democrats to win both houses, plus Biden plus Yellen…….after all, Biden and Yellen are true turtle doves…

    • endeavor says:

      The moral hazard of select rent forgiveness and student loan forgiveness will have to result in a price reduction far all renters and students. If not, payments to landlords and lenders will continue to fall. As an example, Detroit has been allowing free water and sewer to a significant portion of the population due to poverty. They are now increasing the amount of people in the program with the intent of going all free in the future according to a recent article. People from outer space will pick up the tab I presume.

    • BuySome says:

      Turtle Doves? Yes…in a Gangs of New York sense of what that means.

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      A partridge in the hand is worth more than a partridge in a tree. Just say’in.

  24. John says:

    Wolf,
    Thanks for the color. Always a good read. Bxmt comes to mind.

  25. I don’t see any numbers on ” shared housing ”
    (housemates); even Google is silent.

    The Covid “war” -increased- homelessness;
    apparently, they don’t need no stinking masks

  26. MiTurn says:

    I live in a heavily forested but cold Rocky Mountain state and this summer I saw people living in tents on national forest lands. Works okay in the summer, but not in the winter. Of all the years I’ve been in the woods, hunting, camping, getting firewood, etc., I’ve never seen this.

    • Harrold says:

      I saw it in 2008.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      According to a friend who is one of those folks that risk their fingers and their lives by climbing up rocks and stones and roks and rooks and so and and so forth, the more back and beyond and extremely hard to get to:
      there have been tons of folks camping way out in the national forests for years, and , as you say, seasonal,, ,,

      Homeless or adventurouslessness, who can say.. I cannot, having known several ”un housed by choice” folks, including fully functional combat vets…

      A cuz and I trailed up to the Red Peak area of Yo So Mighty many many moons ago, and found no likely thing left by humans, so we left our best big cast iron fry pan to at least try to help our brethern/sisteren coming…

    • Cas127 says:

      I wonder, from purely a survival perspective, if digging a three or four foot deep hole/floor beneath tent coverage might provide enough insulation to make winter survivable (miserable but survivable).

      Groundwater flooding in to the hole is a major question/issue but beyond that…it might work, I think.

      But as I said…miserable but maybe survivable.

  27. Turtle says:

    This has me wondering about forbearance ending. What will it look like when borrowers can no longer apply or when payments must resume? Apparently people have equity. Sell fast and become a renter?

    2021 will be like the unfolding of a great mystery.

  28. Bobber says:

    At this point, even if tenants can pay rent, many people and businesses are probably wondering they should. Long standing rules of financial behavior have been rewritten over the past 20 years.

  29. Martha Careful says:

    Re: “The 11.5 million apartments in this sample are market-rate apartments in multifamily buildings.”

    As we’ve seen recently with the election, sample size and inferences, extrapolations and estimates are often incorrect, biased, inconclusive, non-factual, fake, absurd, insane ,incompetent, corrupt, gangster-like, childish, moronic, psychopathic, historically un-founded in any reality, devoid of stability, etc …

    • Anthony says:

      Martha Careful

      How do you know a politician is lying

      They open their mouths

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Martha Careful,

      There is a big mix-up in your statement.

      1. Surveys for election purposes (that you cite) ask people some questions about what they MIGHT DO IN THE FUTURE. And those people can say whatever.

      2. This data here is based on actual rent invoices having been paid or not having been paid in the past and reflects the documented money-flow of those 11.5 million apartments, obtained by software programs that handle the actual payments. This is NOT an opinion survey. And it’s not a prediction of what people might do in the future. It’s data on what people ALREADY DID. A huge difference. I explained all this in the article under the second chart.

      • Martha Careful says:

        It wasn’t my intent to point blame at you, my skepticism and irreverence was aimed towards general data interpretations which can cause argumentative circular debates — and politicized/polarized debates (which are such a core part of the acidic landscape we inhabit today).

        I’m sorry I failed to absorb your explanation in the story and stand corrected.

  30. dr spock says:

    Wolf, thanks for another great article. Your attention to the fine details along with the charts was truly awesome.

  31. paul m whalen says:

    I’m not sure I agree with the extrapolations underpinning this analysis. The huge cohort of older, smaller and owner managed apartment rental properties are not part of the NMHC survey. These properties are on the lower end of the quality and rental rate scale, and are most likely to be housing those most vulnerable to COVID induced job loss. There’s a church in my neighborhood in Miami that distributes free food starting at 7 am on Thursdays. The line stretches for 2.5 miles by 5:30 am.
    Think of the cruelty of US capitalist society. Yesterday, a $740Billion defense budget is approved by a veto proof margin, while food pantries are running short of supply. Just the sheer waste in that budget could clean up the entirety of rent arrearages estimated at $70 Billion.

    • Cas127 says:

      “Yesterday, a $740Billion defense budget is approved by a veto proof margin, while food pantries are running short of supply.”

      I’m a conservative with a cynical view of a predatory world…but 20 yrs of forever war against rump remnants of 4th rate powers has convinced me that the US military leadership could accomplish the same level of mediocrity at 65% of the cost…freeing up $200 to $250 billion per yr…back to taxpayers who earned it or other programs that (might) use it more carefully/wisely.

      If nothing else, 20 yrs of Forever War has been a case of “General Failure”…an observation that strangely dare not speak its name.

  32. Property managers hire people to stay in empty houses, but more to the point they have their own reasons for underreporting deliquent rents.

    • Dave Kunkel says:

      If a property is left empty for a long time, someone needs to come in periodically to flush all the toilets and run water in the sinks and showers. Otherwise the water in the p-traps will evaporate and the lilting aroma of sewer gas will fill the place.

      • Frederick says:

        Yeah I know Happened to me in 2012 and the guy moved out leaving the freezer door open and running so the damn thing looked like a glacier Took days to defrost that bugger Tenants can be deranged at times no doubt

      • Sam says:

        OR in northern geographical regions: turn off water and drain all pipes. Especially if pwr disconnected (furnace turned off).
        For spring will bring forth unpleasant ‘discoveries’ (esp. if feeds are routed overhead, or upstairs fed from downstairs source).
        Words: refit & water damage repair maximus.
        Exponential damage in multi story aprt/condo situations.

        1st time RV owners also get surprised from not winterizing.
        (non toxic antifreeze applicable to home application too)

        Some folks gotta learn the hard way!

  33. I have to wonder out loud about the daisy chain effect of late rental payments on the overall economy. There is a landlord operating on a 5% to 10% net margin that will have a 30 day cashflow issue unless he or she has a line of credit at a local bank that can be drawn against, but must be worked down within say 90 days. Even if net evictions in January don’t appear unwieldy at 1.4 million over 2019 tenants, there is a growing risk of landlord default on the outstanding mortgages on the properties.

    Since we have some 28 million unemployed Americans currently going into 2021, please provide a more accurate number if you have one, the chance of one month in arrears going to two months and then 3 months is much greater than 50%. The property landlords or the banks holding the paper on these properties do not want to go into default or have a bad loan. If there are warm bodies that can take over the rent payments for the delinquent renters, the landlords, as a group, are going to evict the delinquents as soon as possible. The landlords financial survival may depend of doing so, a financial decision, not a humanitarian one.

    There are many time elements by jurisdiction involved in evictions, it is not a flip a switch affair. So cumulative delays in evicting a delinquent tenants places the mortgage payment on the property at more and more risk, and you see where this is going.

    The lenders, banks or mortgage companies, are usually public traded companies, so there is a bevy of shareholders that might see dividend payments reduced, having a negative effect on the financial stocks’ prices. Some shareholders might rely on these quarterly dividend payments for discretionary consumer spending and Amazon doesn’t get as many orders. An increase in the lenders’ bad loan reserves will also negatively affect its stock price even in this fundamentals don’t matter market.

    Anyway, the daisy chain effect of missed cash payments at the monthly rental line has many more people and organizations and other assets affected than merely the 1.4 million Americans over the 2019 delinquent rate. A bunch of unintended consequences in this interconnected world we are trying to live in. This is just one more very heavy straw thrown upon the American camel’s back going into 2021.

    • Tony22 says:

      “the landlords, as a group, are going to evict the delinquents as soon as possible..”
      That can take months if you do it the legal way and you will never see one cent owned to you collected. Unless…you hire a couple of 400 pound Samoans to discuss things with the evictees, escort them off the property and get all their stuff out onto the sidewalk, then move new people in immediately. The courts are closed or clogged, remember?

    • yxd0018 says:

      With the recent RE price upswing, it will be no issue for owner to get a home equity loan or sell at profit.

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      “Some shareholders might rely on these quarterly dividend payments for … ” paying their own mortgages, not just discretionary spending. A snowball gains in girth as it rolls downhill.

  34. Tom S. says:

    Thank you for digging into this information Wolf. Will be very interesting to see how it plays out over the next year. Maybe the guy from “The Rent is Too Damn High” party will get his wish.

  35. Hernando says:

    It seems like a good way to juice local and state taxes by decreasing interest rates to spur inflated speculative prices and lock them in for 30 years – and tap out that market. Scarcity with high demand.

    Then end the moratorium- allow for a flooding of the market with volume and increase interest rates causing a rush of speculators and cash holders to…. increase tax revenues through volume.

    I think that’s what I would do if I was a Master of the Universe.

    • Hernando says:

      And of course wait until after the election when nobody cares except those impacted- in 2 years only a few will care; in 4 nobody will remeber.

      • Sam says:

        “One of the delightful things about Americans is that they have absolutely no historical memory.” – Zhou Enlai

    • Cas127 says:

      “good way to juice local and state taxes by decreasing interest rates to spur inflated speculative prices…”

      Yep…funny how that works out, right? The local G gets a tax bonanza no matter if home prices zoom or crater in ZIRP world.

  36. gwillard says:

    I’m wondering if this accurately represents the rent paying situation in housing types where low-income households currently reside. (see https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/blog/covid-19-rent-shortfalls-in-small-buildings). Small apartment complexes, doubles and triples, mobile home parks, and single family homes are all excluded from the study.

    Clearly, many low-income families live in multifamily housing. However, the study does not include subsidized units. Having a subsidized unit does not free you up from the possibility of eviction. Your rent is based on your income, which is helpful, but if you have unanticipated expenses (increased use of taxis for example if you are ill and need to get to the doctor, funeral expenses, increased expenses associated with children being out of school, etc.), and you are poor, there is really no margin of error in the family budget, or economic wiggle room. Often, an unanticipated expense means the rent does not get paid.

    In addition, a temporary loss of income does not result in a decrease of rent in a subsidized unit. If you lose two weeks of wages in December, and then go back to work, and you were unable to pay your full rent in December, your rent will not go down and you will still face eviction. The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, the biggest provider of housing for low-income people in one of the poorest cities in the nation, leads the state and probably the nation in terms of the number of eviction cases it files in court each year.

    Finally, the study is not particularly helpful in terms of measuring eviction vulnerability. The real question, is what percentage of renters owed any rent money at all, not what percentage of renters paid their rent for a specific month by the end of the month. It could be that 90% of renters paid all the December rent by the end of December, but what percentage owed any rent at all at the end of December? If you run an apartment building and 90 of your 100 tenants paid their December rent by the end of December, but 50 of your tenants are behind in their rent because they missed several weeks of work being sick or caring for children who were not in school during the pandemic, then you are going to bring eviction actions against 50 tenants once the moratoria lift.

    Did I say finally? The study also talks about gross numbers which is helpful in one way. I think the bigger story, though, is what percentage of low-income people who already struggle to pay rent will be displaced as a result of the pandemic. There is no question that many middle-income people have been financially impacted by the pandemic — but middle income folks have credit cards, other middle income family members, retirement accounts, possessions of a value that can be sold, access to loans, etc. Also, middle-income people tend to have better educations and more access to technologies that allow them to access some of the financial assistance that has been available to folks who haven’t been able to make rent or mortgage payments. Certainly, there are going to be middle income families who never faced housing instability before who will find themselves moving in with family members or living in homeless shelters. My guess is that housing instability and displacement will more significantly impact households at the lower end of the economic spectrum.

  37. CreditGB says:

    Whose to replace the evicted tenant? Another possibly worse paying tenant?

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