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Rent and Operating Trends Week of July 19th 2020

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That’s more like it.


After the week ending on July 12 brought with it a bevy of bad stats, the following week showed a nice upturn.


In general, the apartment market has shown fairly steady improvement since its low points early on in the pandemic. Last week, I cautioned that one bad week can be just that: one bad week. I urged readers not to worry too much until we saw leading indicators like traffic and leases continue to decline over several weeks in a row.


Fortunately, during the week ending on July 19, we saw moderately positive uptick across most data points and most markets, according to Radix.


Nationally, leases and traffic increased on a week-over-week basis, with the former also increasing when compared to the same time last year. The national occupancy and leased-percentage rates were up slightly from the preceding week, and the metrics also closed their year-over-year gaps that were so large in the initial stages of the pandemic. Impressively, even the average net effective rent in the U.S. rose 10 basis points from the week before.


To be sure, these were, overall, not outsized gains. But when we consider the July 12 data, it certainly is a positive to see the declines of that week come to a stop. We will continue to monitor the data to see if the gains morph into a longer-term positive trend over the next several weeks.


Below are some of the specific takeaways from the week ending on July 19:


  • Nationally, traffic and leases were up 13.1% and 17.7%, respectively, when compared to the preceding week. The vast majority of the 22 individual metropolitan statistical areas tracked by Radix recorded positive WoW trends in these two metrics. On a national basis, leases also increased by 5.5% when compared to the same time last year. Traffic was still down 18.4% vs. last year, but the YoY gap was smaller than it was during the week of July 12.


  • The national occupancy (93.62%) and leased percentage (95.18%) rates rose by 10 and 20 basis points respectively, when compared with the preceding week. Only a few individual markets trended downwards WoW in these two areas. On a national level, both statistics continue to trail where they were one year ago – occupancy by 0.9% and leased percentage by 0.6% – but, once again, the YoY gaps compressed when compared to what they were during the preceding week.


  • At $1,660, the national net effective rent increased by 10 basis points WoW; during the week of July 12, it was essentially flat when compared to the week before. Net effective rents increased WoW in 12 of the MSAs tracked by Radix. However, the national net effective rent was still down by 7.5% YoY.


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