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Coronavirus

The apartment market goes on a rollercoaster ride

There is a silver lining

The apartment market is going through some ups and downs.

May 2020 electronic payment volume, compared to February 2020, increased 14% and was driven by card payments, a report from MRI Software said. Card usage for May 2020 was up 58%, as compared to February 2020.

It’s possible that more renters are struggling to make ends meet, said MRI Software.

According to Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI Software, “while we applaud the use of electronic payments, which bring convenience to renters and landlords alike, the use of credit cards could signal increased risks if residents are paying with cards because of restricted cash flows as opposed to a desire to accumulate reward points.”

On a positive note, new 12-month leases were up 12% in volume in May 2020 compared to May 2019, the report said, and 12-month renewals were 7.4% higher in volume year over year.

“Other findings are more encouraging,” Zrimsek continued. “Although many residents are choosing to stay where they are, the rise in traffic indicates that moves and applications could increase as the economy stabilizes. And the increase in 12-month leases shows that landlords are thinking strategically, ensuring that lease terminations coincide with what will likely be a busy season in 2021.”

Traffic to multifamily communities shows signs of recovery and is rising to pre-pandemic levels, yet applications and the number of move-ins are still behind 2019 levels – down 21%.

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