News August 11, 2020

Mixed Results for Multifamily in July: Lease Pricing Down; Concessions and Card Payments Up; Traffic Holding Steady

By MRI

Latest Report from MRI Software Tracks Effects of COVID-19 on Market-Rate Housing Throughout the U.S.

Solon, Ohio – August 11, 2020 – The U.S. multifamily market is experiencing an unusual summer, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the traditional busy season for leasing. That’s the verdict from Proptech firm MRI Software (“MRI”), whose data shows decreases in lease pricing and increases in concessions along with a steady stream of traffic and wider use of card payments by tenants.

The firm’s latest report compares data from more than one million market-rate units (a subset of the total units managed by MRI clients) in January-July 2020 and January-July 2019.

The good news:

  • Traffic remains steady. Although it dropped slightly from June to July, it is still 16% ahead of July 2019 volumes.
  • Move-in volumes have increased for the third straight month, although they still lag those of July 2019.
  • Service request volumes are nearing those of July 2019, continuing the trend from June and indicating a return to normal operations.

And causes for concern:

  • After rising by 5% in June 2020 and regaining prior year levels, lease pricing in July gave that gain back. Furthermore, concessions reached a new high for the year.
  • July 2020 applications reached only 81% of July 2019. In contrast, June 2020 applications had reached 97% of June 2019 volumes.
  • Card usage for rent payments continued to increase, accounting for one-third of transactions in July.

“The promising signs we highlighted in our previous report on June have abated somewhat,” says Brian Zrimsek, Industry Principal, MRI Software. “Although the high levels of traffic reassure us for the future, the general trend at the moment is for residents to stay in place. That’s why we’re seeing lease pricing drop and concessions rise.

“Last month we also expressed unease about tenants’ use of card payments to pay rent and that continues,” he adds. “If they’re using credit cards rather than debit cards because they don’t have sufficient cash flow, that’s a worrisome development, especially when we’re still unclear about the trajectory of the virus and the next stimulus package.”

The full MRI Software Market Insights report can be downloaded here.

About MRI Software
MRI Software is a leading provider of innovative real estate software applications and hosted solutions. MRI’s comprehensive and flexible technology platform coupled with an open and connected ecosystem meets the unique needs of real estate businesses – from property-level management and accounting to investment modelling and analytics for the global commercial and residential markets. A pioneer of the real estate software industry, MRI develops lasting client relationships based on nearly five decades of expertise and insight. Through leading solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives organizations the freedom to transform the way communities live, work and play while elevating their business and gaining a competitive edge. For more information, please visit mrisoftware.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

(US for MRI)
Rachel Antman (+1 212-362-5837)
rachel@saygency.com

(UK) Platform Communications for MRI
PJ Chou (+44 20 3219 5837)
Zoe Mumba (+44 7725 832393)
or Hugh Filman (+44 7905 044850)
mri@platformcomms.com

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