Month: September 2021

Keeping Residents Informed Through Virtual Newsletters

Do you use this simple marketing tool to promote your community and connect with renters and prospects?

A lot has changed in the 18 months since the onset of the pandemic, from the way we work and learn to how we interact with each other and how we relax. Face-to-face communication has dwindled considerably to make room for online interactions in pretty much all aspects of our lives.

For property owners and operators, in particular, finding effective ways to reach out and communicate with their residents has been among the top priorities over the past year and a half.

Sure, social media posts are all the rage, especially among Gen Zers and Millennials, as are QR codes and even good old-fashioned printed flyers. But perhaps the easiest—and cheapest—tool to communicate to residents of all ages timely and safely is community newsletters. Here’s how to make the most of them to keep your residents informed and improve retention.

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    Apartment List National Rent Report

    Introduction

    Welcome to the September Apartment List National Rent Report. Our national index increased by 2.1 percent from July to August, a slight cool-down from 2.5 percent the month before, but nevertheless a continuation of rent growth that has persisted since the start of the year. Since January 2021, the national median rent has increased by a staggering 13.8 percent. To put that in context, rent growth from January to August averaged just 3.6 percent in the pre-pandemic years from 2017-2019.

    With rents rising virtually everywhere, only a few cities remain cheaper than they were pre-pandemic. And even there, rents are rebounding quickly. In San Francisco, for example, rents are still 12 percent lower than they were in March 2020, but the city has seen prices increase by 20 percent since January of this year. At the other end of the spectrum, many of the mid-sized markets that have seen rents grow rapidly through the pandemic are only continuing to boom — rents in Boise, ID are now up 39 percent since March 2020. Rent growth in 2021 so far is outpacing pre-pandemic averages in 98 of the nation’s 100 largest cities.

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      BLACK KNIGHT’S JULY 2021 MORTGAGE MONITOR

      Tappable Equity Rises $1 Trillion in Q2 2021 Alone to Hit All-Time High of $9.1 Trillion; Quarter Also Sees Largest Volume of Cash-Out Refis in 15 Years

      • Driven by the red-hot housing market, tappable equity – the amount available to homeowners before reaching a maximum 80% combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio – surged nearly 40% from last year
      • At $9.1 trillion in total – yet another record high – the average mortgage holder now has $173,000 in tappable equity available to them, an increase of $20,000 from just the end of the first quarter
      • Fewer than 3% of mortgage holders have less than 10% equity – the lowest share ever observed – with the overall weighted average CLTV now 46%, the lowest mortgage-to-value leverage on record
      • Some 98% of borrowers in active forbearance have at least 10% equity, as compared to the Great Recession when 40% of all mortgage holders had less than 10% equity with 28% fully underwater
      • Even when adding 18 months of deferred principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments onto the total debt amount, only 7% of borrowers in forbearance would have less than 10% equity in their homes
      • More than $63 billion in equity was withdrawn via 1.1 million cash-out refinances originated in the second quarter, the largest quarterly volume since mid-2007

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        Share of Mortgage Loans in Forbearance Decreases to 3.08 Percent

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

        WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 13, 2021) – The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey revealed that the total number of loans now in forbearance decreased by 15 basis points from 3.23% of servicers’ portfolio volume in the prior week to 3.08% as of September 5, 2021. According to MBA’s estimate, 1.5 million homeowners are in forbearance plans.

        The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased 11 basis points to 1.52%. Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 24 basis points to 3.39%, while the forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) decreased 25 basis points to 7.27%. The percentage of loans in forbearance for independent mortgage bank (IMB) servicers decreased 16 basis point to 3.33%, and the percentage of loans in forbearance for depository servicers decreased 18 basis points to 3.15%.

        “The share of loans in forbearance decreased by 15 basis points last week, as forbearance exits jumped to their fastest pace since March. The fast pace of exits outweighed the slight increase in new forbearance requests and re-entries,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Servicer call volume jumped last week as summer came to an end and many borrowers reached the end of their forbearance terms. We anticipate a similarly fast pace of exits in the weeks ahead, which should lead to increased call volume and a further decline in the forbearance share.”

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          How To Write A Rent Increase Notice (With Sample Letter)

          After you see how to write a rent increase notice, check out this related article: How To Raise Rent Without Losing Tenants

          At some point, all property managers have to raise rent in order to stay profitable, or even to just pay the bills. Ideally, a well-written rent increase notice can help you retain residents and give them positive feelings about the future. We’ll walk you through a few simple steps that will help make your rent increase letters as professional and considerate as possible.

          Review your state notice period

          The most important part of raising rent is making sure the law is on your side. These notice periods vary by state.

          If possible, try to give ample notice of a rent increase. As you know, renters are more concerned with their personal situation than what’s required of you by law. If they feel like they’re not being given enough notice — even if you’re abiding by the minimum legal notice period — they may feel slighted. They might decide to move, or they could hurt your reputation with negative online reviews. On the other hand, going above and beyond for your renters is a great way to get positive property reviews.

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            August jobs numbers are bad, but there’s a silver lining

            Skilled residential contractor workforce increased in August

            The U.S. economy produced just 235,000 new jobs in August, far below economists’ expectations of 725,000 jobs.

            It was the slowest month of growth since January 2021. Roughly one million jobs were produced in the months of both June and July.

            “There’s no question that the Delta variant is why today’s job report isn’t stronger,” President Joe Biden said Friday. “I know people were looking, and I was hoping, for a higher number.”

            Prior months’ data suggested that employers were ready to increase production to meet consumer demand, but the delta variant impacted hiring, said Joel Kan, the Mortgage Bankers Association‘s vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

            “Also, this was the first time in six months that leisure and hospitality hiring did not show a gain and the second month in a row that retail trade saw a decline,” he said. “Overall payroll employment is still 3.5% below where it was pre-pandemic. And the leisure and hospitality sector remained 10% behind.”

            The Labor Department report on Friday shows an unemployment rate of 5.2% compared with 5.4% in July, and job gains were concentrated in the professional and business services sectors.

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              More US Retail Stores Opening Than Closing This Year: Survey

              Retailers nationwide plan to open more stores than they are closing this year, according to a survey from RetailSphere.

              More than half of retailers surveyed by RetailSphere intend to expand their businesses and more are looking for spaces with a smaller footprint, under 2,500 square feet. Grocery, fast-casual, and value stores are leading the charge with more than half of companies in all three sectors saying they’ll expand this year.

              “Some companies are opening a handful of stores; others are expanding by hundreds,” the survey read. “Grocery, convenience and fast-casual and value dominate the list of national and regional retailers that are growing.”

              Discount stores are expected to expand the most, with Family Dollar opening 500 stores in 2021 and Dollar Tree opening 700, according to the survey.

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                Governors, Mayors, Courts Urged To Stop Evictions Until Emergency Rental Assistance Is Processed

                The heads of three federal agencies are urging state and local governments to enact or extend their own eviction moratoriums until emergency rental assistance is processed after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had exceeded its authority in putting a nationwide eviction moratorium in place.

                The government agencies are urging governors, mayors and state courts to not allow tenants to be evicted before they have the chance to apply for rental assistance, and “no eviction should move forward until that application has been processed.”

                U.S. Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Marcia L. Fudge, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen, and Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice Merrick B. Garland sent a letter to state and local government leaders addressing the eviction moratorium, according to a release.

                “Our three departments are working closely together and with other agencies across the federal government to make rental assistance available to households in need,” the letter said.

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                  Federal Eviction Ban is Over. What’s Ahead?

                  The end of the CDC’s moratorium doesn’t end the challenges. Experts weigh in.

                  The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the Centers for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium has ended the federal ban, but not the questions. Responses to the ruling from a broad spectrum of stakeholders make it clear that much more lies before the crisis is resolved.

                  Among those voicing support for the ruling was the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), which has been at the forefront of opposition to eviction bans.

                  “The fact is that housing providers have been forced to completely shoulder the burden for their residents for more than a year, and that is just unsustainable,” Paula Cino, NMHC vice president, construction, development and land use policy, told Multi-Housing News. “The solution is to get financial assistance into the hands of those who need that assistance, which can benefit both residents and housing providers.”

                  NMHC anticipated rental relief programs would require a period to become fully established. Some jurisdictions have done a much better job establishing programs than others. The NMHC is urging jurisdictions that have been slower to respond to get their programs up and running as quickly as possible, Cino said.

                  “What we’re also doing now is reminding our providers to really reconnect with their residents to find the solutions right for them,” she added. “That could be extending payment plans or deferments, or helping residents connect with the rental assistance opportunities that are available to them in their areas.”

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                    Supreme Court Blocks Biden Administration’s New Eviction Moratorium

                    WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Thursday lifted the latest federal ban on evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, siding with landlords against a moratorium the Biden administration imposed this month despite questions about its legality. Three liberal justices dissented.

                    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has repeatedly renewed the eviction moratorium for millions of tenants affected by the pandemic, in large part to allow them to remain in their homes as state and local governments struggle to disburse some $47 billion of rental assistance provided by Congress. The current order was set to expire Oct. 3; as of July 31, just $4.7 billion of the rental assistance had reached landlords and tenants.

                    But in Thursday’s unsigned opinion, the court’s conservative majority said the temporary eviction ban exceeded the CDC’s authority to combat communicable diseases, forcing landlords to bear the pandemic’s costs.

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