News May 13, 2021

Progress Toward Recovery Varies Significantly Among Multifamily Sectors in the U.S.

Latest Report from MRI Software Shows Improvements in Strength of Market-Rate Housing While Extending Concerns about Affordable Housing

Solon, Ohio – May 13, 2021 – The latest report from Proptech firm MRI Software (“MRI”) reveals significant differences in key indicators of recovery across multifamily sectors. Of particular note: Rent collections in affordable housing payments lag those of market-rate and public housing, and mobility in affordable and public housing trails that of market-rate housing.

To fully assess the multifamily market’s progress toward recovery, MRI reviewed not only year-over-year and month-over-month statistics, but also compared the first four months of 2021 against a “baseline” of the first four months of 2019, before the pandemic had emerged. The firm’s report on market-rate housing covers one million units, while its report on affordable and public housing covers 1.5 million units.

Highlights of the reports include:

  • New lease pricing in market-rate housing in March and April exceeded not only last year’s pricing, but also the pricing of March and April of 2019.
  • Traffic in market-rate housing during April reached 32% above the 2019 baseline and above each month of summer 2020.
  • Concessions dropped back to the baseline level set in April 2019, but increased significantly in value.
  • Despite the mostly positive indicators in market-rate housing, payment performance in April decreased by approximately 1.5% year over year.
  • Payment rates in affordable housing in April declined to 88% of the prior year and 73% of the rates in April 2019. Notably, stimulus payments seemed to consistently boost the payment rates.
  • Payment rates in public housing continued to outperform rates of 2020 and the 2019 baseline.
  • Movement in affordable housing from January – April is slowly progressing toward pre-pandemic norms, but movement in the public housing sector remained flat in the same period.

“The findings on market-rate housing are reassuring, despite the modest reduction in payment rates,” says Brian Zrimsek, Industry Principal, MRI Software. “It seems that we’re headed toward a welcome recovery in this sector, and summer leasing activity should add to the momentum. The eventual lifting of eviction moratoriums will replace residents who are currently not able to afford rent.

“In contrast, the drop in payment performance in the affordable sector is of concern,” he continues. “When eviction moratoriums are lifted, we will see some of these tenants move on. But the lack of movement in public housing raises concerns about where these tenants can go. Both sectors require careful monitoring in the coming months.”

About MRI Software
MRI Software is a leading provider of real estate software solutions that transform the way communities live, work and play. MRI’s comprehensive, flexible, open and connected platform empowers owners, operators and occupiers in commercial and residential property organizations to innovate in rapidly changing markets. MRI has been a trailblazer in the Proptech industry for over five decades, serving more than two million users worldwide. Through leading solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives real estate companies the freedom to elevate their business and gain a competitive edge. For more information, please visit


(U.S. for MRI)
Rachel Antman (+1 212-362-5837)

(U.K.) Platform Communications for MRI
Zoe Mumba (+44 7725 832393)
or Hugh Filman (+44 7905 044850)

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