Month: March 2021

BLACK KNIGHT’S FIRST LOOK AT FEBRUARY 2021 MORTGAGE DATA

Mortgage Delinquencies Rise for the First Time in Nine Months; Increase Largely Calendar-Driven but Bears Watching

  • After eight consecutive months of improvement, the national mortgage delinquency rate rose in February from 5.85% to 6.0%
  • The rise was largely calendar-related, as February is both a short month and ended on a Sunday – cutting the days on which payments can be processed – which has historically impacted performance metrics
  • Delinquency rate increases were seen broadly across portfolios, geographies and asset classes
    The increase was primarily seen in early-stage delinquencies, while the number of loans 90 or more days past due but not yet in foreclosure (including those in active forbearance) saw a modest decline
  • Prepayment activity edged upward in February as well, but recent 30-year interest rate increases are likely to put downward pressure on prepayment rates in the coming months
  • Both foreclosure starts and active foreclosure inventory again hit new record lows, as recently extended foreclosure moratoriums continue to suppress activity.

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    4 Ways To Be Proactive In Rental Property Maintenance

    Wish you had been more proactive in your rental property maintenance when you get that maintenance call or text from a tenant? The maintenance checkup this week provided by Keepe helps make sure you are your protecting your investment and income as well as your tenants.

    Many property managers and landlords deal with maintenance in a reactive manner. They wait for tenants to report maintenance issues and/or waiting for the property to turn over before addressing maintenance issues.

    This is natural because if you view rental properties as a pure investment, then maintenance is the cost center. It is a negative charge on investment income. The human tendency is to be proactive about positives and to be reactive about negatives.

    Do you ever turnover a rental property and think, “I would have taken care of that if I knew it was broken?”

    I’m sure it has happened to the best of us.

    Here is an example from our experience. One tenant used a plastic fork to prevent the microwave from running constantly because the open/close latch was broken. Rather than reporting it, the tenant chose to ignore (or even worse, hide) it. A new microwave can run a couple hundred dollars plus the cost of installation, but can be well worth the cost. When things start to break, it affects the overall quality of the home and can have a negative effect on tenant satisfaction and quality.

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      MBA RIHA Study Finds Affordability a Growing Challenge for Low- and Moderate-Income Renters in a Majority of Top 50 Metro Areas

      CONTACT
      Adam DeSanctis
      [email protected]
      (202) 557-2727

      Less than one rental subsidy was available for every three eligible households in 2020

      WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 18, 2021) – Home prices and rent appreciation have exceeded income growth since the turn of the 21st century. This has created economic obstacles for many American households, especially for low- and moderate-income (LMI) renters living in cities with recent employment growth but significant housing supply constraints.

      This is according to a new research report, The Location of Affordable and Subsidized Rental Housing Across and Within the Largest Cities in the United States, released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA).

      The findings reveal that nearly all of the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) since 2001 have become less affordable for renters and prospective first-time homebuyers, with annual median rent growth rising at 2.0% above inflation, compared to an 0.8% real increase in annual median income. This disparity has led to a typical household in 2020 – compared to 2001 – needing to devote an additional 7.6% of its income to rent a median-priced housing unit.

      “There is a significant lack of affordable housing supply in the United States, and the problem is worsening. In 2001, a low- and moderate-income household could spend less than 30% of its income to rent the median rental unit in 38 of the largest 50 metro areas. By 2020, this was the case in only 17 metro areas,” said Michael Eriksen, author of the report and West Shell Associate Professor of Real Estate at the University of Cincinnati and Academic Director of the Real Estate program. “The highest and fastest-growing rents have been in cities with strong employment and population growth that have a scarcity of developable land, primarily because of geography and land-use restrictions.”

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        Federal Judge Rules Landlords Do Not Have To Provide Free Housing

        A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority in issuing a nationwide eviction ban, according to a release.

        The ruling is a victory for a group of Ohio landlords and the National Association of Home Builders, who challenged the moratorium in October.

        The decision in Skyworks v. Centers for Disease Control “allows evictions to resume, restoring the landlords’ rights to remove tenants who don’t honor their lease obligation to pay rent,” according to the release from the Pacific Legal Foundation. (PLF). “This is a victory for the rule of law,” said Steve Simpson, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation – which represented the landlords – in the release.

        “This decision makes clear that federal agencies can’t exercise power Congress has not given them. Now our clients no longer have to provide housing for free.”

        President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Jan. 20 extending eviction ban protections for the country’s 44 million rental households until March 31.

        U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Judge Philip Calabrese’s declaratory judgment held that the CDC lacks the statutory authority to promulgate the eviction ban, writing, “Without question, effective pandemic response depends on the judgment of reliable science—not political science. But that obvious truism does not empower agencies or their officials to exceed the mandate Congress gives them.

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          31% of young adults relocated during Covid. But they aren’t giving up on cities altogether

          Gen Z and millennials were most likely to relocate during the Covid-19 pandemic.

          A pandemic migration has been underway, at least for young adults ages 18 to 31.

          That’s according to a Bankrate.com survey that found 31% of people in that age cohort relocated either permanently or for an extended period of time during the Covid pandemic. That’s compared with 16% of adults overall.

          Gen Z — who range from ages 18 to 24 — were most likely to pick up stakes, with 32% relocating. That was followed by millennials — ages 25 to 40 — at 26%.

          Members of Gen X — ages 41 to 56 — and baby boomers — ages 57 to 75 — were least likely to relocate, with 10% and 5% having made moves, respectively.

          The main reason people relocated was to be closer to friends and family, which was cited by 31% of respondents. That was followed by more affordable living, with 27%, or relocating for a job, 21%.

          Others were motivated by opportunities for more space, 18%; different climates, 17%; or the ability to work from anywhere, 17%.

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            5 Reforms for Cities to Increase Affordability

            Salim Furth, senior research fellow at Mercatus Center at George Mason University, discusses barriers to building more affordable communities and highlights a few easy-to-implement solutions to alleviate housing affordability issues.

            When the pandemic hit, the U.S. was already going through a major affordability crisis. The rising cost of living and continuously growing income disparity have led to millions of Americans being priced out of the housing market.

            The solution to a more affordable housing market seems to be simple: more housing. But the barriers to building more affordable properties, however, seem to be relentlessly increasing instead of disappearing. High land and construction costs, outdated zoning regulations, and slow and burdensome permitting and approval systems are some of the challenges developers usually deal with.

            In fact, a recent study from Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that the escalation of land use regulations is the major obstacle in creating more affordable cities. “In recent years, the proliferation of land-use regulations has limited development, and it has threatened the income mobility and rising standards of living that come with development,” researchers noted.

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              NMHC Rent Payment Tracker Finds 80.4 Percent of Apartment Households Paid Rent as of March 6

              Washington, D.C. – The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)’s Rent Payment Tracker found 80.4 percent of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by March 6 in its survey of 11.6 million units of professionally managed apartment units across the country.

              This is a 4.1 percentage point, or 474,942 household decrease from the share who paid rent through March 6, 2020 and compares to 79.2 percent that had paid by February 6, 2021. This data encompasses a wide variety of market-rate rental properties across the United States, which can vary by size, type and average rental price.

              “On behalf of the multifamily industry, we are deeply appreciative of how leaders in Congress and the Biden administration worked with us to develop legislation that will deliver direct financial support to those facing distress due to the pandemic,” said Doug Bibby, NMHC President.

              “The American Rescue plan includes $40 billion in essential housing and homelessness assistance, including $26 billion for rental assistance and $5 billion to assist people who are homeless. We are especially pleased that the bill includes NMHC-supported provisions that will assist the nation’s apartment residents and housing providers—including rental assistance, direct stimulus checks and expanded unemployment benefits. Taken together, along with the funds included in the stimulus package passed in late 2020, this represents a truly significant investment in the 40 million Americans who call an apartment home and the nation’s rental housing industry.”

              “As we move forward and continue to face economic challenges due to the pandemic, it will be vital that these new funds are distributed as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

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                Playing It Safe: Apartment Pets, Assistance Animals and Fair Housing

                Multifamily experts shed light on dealing with HUD guidance for emotional support animals.

                Home is where the heart is and, for many apartment residents, home is also the place they share with a beloved pet. A new crop of multifamily amenities designed to attract pet owners have sprung up in recent years, but not all creatures are cut out for apartment life or make good neighbors. Unfortunately, residents and property managers don’t always see eye to eye—even when the property’s rules are clearly and expertly communicated. Debates typically center around which animals qualify as pets, when is a service animal actually a pet and under what circumstances are emotional support animals genuinely needed.

                Last December, the federal government cracked down on the types of animals allowed to fly with their owners in the cabins of commercial airplanes. “We applauded that because we watch what the airlines do and they watch what we do. Why do we care what the feds are doing about the airlines? The airlines and multifamily have been in tune for a long time because we have the same issue,” Fair Housing consultant & educator Anne Sadovsky, CAM CAPS NAAEI advanced facilitator, told Multi-Housing News.

                “The issue is that some people cheat and lie to get their pet on an airplane—or into an apartment—saying it’s a service or emotional support animal (ESA) when it’s not,” Sadovsky said. “You can see why the airlines finally took that step. There have been horror stories of miniature pigs defecating in the aisle or the so-called ESA or service dog biting the person next to them. One passenger required 28 stitches.”

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                  National Rent Index Shows Largest Monthly Jump Since June 2019

                  The national rent index is up by 0.7 percent month-over-month, representing the second straight month of positive rent price growth and the largest monthly increase since June 2019 when the market was in the middle of the summer boom, according to the Apartment List national monthly report.

                  “This month’s data represents the clearest indication yet that rent prices are rebounding in markets across the country,” Apartment List said in the report. “For comparison, in the previous three years, the average month-over-month rent growth in February was 0.3 percent. In other words, the month’s increase was more than double the prior-year average for this time of year.

                  “The data continue to exhibit significant regional variation, but the days of plummeting rents in pricey coastal markets appear to be coming to an end, with cities such as San Francisco and Seattle experiencing positive month-over-month growth for the first time since the start of the pandemic.”

                  The rent index report says the latest month appears to be the month where steep rent declines are bottoming out, but booming markets are continuing to see prices climb, such as many of the mid-sized markets that have seen rents grow rapidly through the pandemic, showing that there’s still steam left in the current boom.

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                    Eco-Friendly Strategies for Property Managers

                    How to make your apartment community more appealing to green-minded potential renters and retain existing ones.

                    Sustainability and green building have been two of the enduring trends of recent decades. While green building emerged in the 1990s, it started taking center stage a decade later and ever since it’s been keeping the spotlight. Similarly, sustainability, once a niche feature, is now a hot topic for everyone, including renters and property managers.

                    Younger generations, which make the largest pool of residents, care about their carbon footprint and they are willing to pay more for apartments managed by teams focused on environmental responsibility—and multifamily owners and operators must focus on making their communities appealing to this group.

                    Sure, sustainable design and green building are paramount in the collective effort to provide a greener lifestyle for apartment dwellers—but what other green living features should owners and operators focus on? We’ve put together the top eco-friendly amenities that will make your community more appealing to potential renters and retain the existing ones.

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