How COVID-19 is Impacting the Rental Market Industry Report – July 21st, 2020

The TurboTenant Rental Trends report continues to expand to include analysis for the last four weeks, ending on July 19th. We compare four key data points. The goal is to get a better understanding of how the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact various rental markets across the U.S. 

Report Highlights:

Active Listing Growth:

  • Brooklyn saw positive listing growth for the third week in a row with nearly an 8% gain week over week.
  • Phoenix was in the red for the fourth consecutive week. 

Renter Lead Growth

  • Minneapolis was up for the fourth consecutive week, posting nearly 100% week over week. 
  • Portland posted another huge jump in renter leads this week at 170%. 
  • Las Vegas and New York slipped into the red after three positive weeks of renter lead growth. 

New Listing Growth

  • Boston posted huge growth for the second week in a row at 356%.
  • Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tampa were all down for the fourth week in a row. 

The Data: 

The TurboTenant Rental Trends report includes four critical rental market indicators. Our first data set is the total active listings for each week. This analysis looks at the change in the number of active listings in each location on a week over week basis beginning the week of June 22nd and ending on Sunday, July 19th. Our second data point is total renter leads. Here we analyze the change in the number of renter leads each location reported on a week over week basis. Our third data point is the average number of renter leads each property receives. Again, we analyze the reported change on a week over week basis. The last data set we looked at is the total number of new listings for the first week of March 2nd, before most cities were on lockdown, compared to the number of new listings reported for the week ending July 19th. Historically, in a pre-coronavirus world, these numbers have increased as we enter the peak rental season starting in April. 

 

Markets We Analyze

We include analysis of 24 major rental markets throughout the U.S. Our goal is to cover the largest rental markets while also adding smaller markets throughout the midwest regions. While the data points reported on for each city remain the same, what will differ by location are the shelter in place orders, the timing, and degree in which the city shut down, as well as re-opening timelines. Each area was also affected to a greater or lesser degree, by the number of COVID-19 cases, and our analysis aims to gauge that impact.

Active Listing Growth Highlights

Active listings represent the total number of active listings for each location during a seven-day rolling period. We then compare that to the previous reporting period. As mentioned above, April is traditionally the beginning of the peak rental season, which continues through June and July. In past years the number of active listings increases steadily through that peak period in mid-summer. However, we have seen dramatic drops in some cities with more stringent shelter in place orders, and higher numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Steady

Houston held steady week over week.

The Up

Boston and Los Angeles were in the black for the second week in a row. Brooklyn saw positive listing growth for the third week in a row with nearly an 8% gain week over week. Las Vegas and Tampa posted positive growth after slipping into the red last week. Portland saw 100% growth week over week. San Francisco notched up 7% after two weeks in the red. 

The Down

Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Jersey City, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, Omaha, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Seattle all slipped into the red after one or two positive growth weeks. Billings, Cleveland, and Minneapolis were down for the second week in a row. Phoenix was in the red for the fourth consecutive week posting -21% active listing growth week over week.  

Renter Lead Growth Highlights

The number of renter leads represents the total number of active renter leads for each location. Again, as we enter the peak moving season, these numbers would traditionally increase. We do see these numbers trending upward in many areas. What this may suggest is that the COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped renters whose leases are ending, or who otherwise must find a new home.

The Up

Boston and Jersey City posted positive growth for the second week in a row with a 2% and 26% increase, respectfully. Los Angeles and Milwaukee recovered ground this week after posting in the red the previous week. Minneapolis was up for the fourth consecutive week, posting nearly 100% week over week. Phoenix saw positive growth after three weeks of negative numbers. Portland posted another huge jump this week at 170%. 

The Down

Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Omaha, San Diego, and Seattle slipped into the red after one or two positive weeks. Baltimore and San Francisco were down for the third week in a row. Billings slipped a bit, -7%, after a big jump the previous week. Las Vegas, New York, and Philadelphia slipped into the red after three positive weeks of renter lead growth.

Average Renter Leads Per Property Growth

This third data point brings our previous two data points together, giving us a better understanding of supply versus demand.

Steady

Chicago and Miami both stayed steady this week. 

The Up

Billings, Denver, Jersey City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Portland all had positive lead growth last week.

The Down

Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Houston, Las Vegas, Omaha, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa all dropped last week. 

New Listing Growth

We analyze the number of new listings on a week over week basis for the last four weeks, compared to the total number of new listings for the week beginning March 2nd. This was before any shelter in place orders were in effect, and historically new listing numbers should start ramping up at this time. A handful of cities Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle have seen their new listings return to pre-lockdown levels and more. However, the greater majority of cities have not returned to pre-lockdown new listing numbers. Further suggesting that property owners are waiting for shelter in place orders to be lifted before listing their rental. We will see if that hypothesis is correct as we continue to report on this over the coming weeks.

The Up

Boston posted huge growth for the second week in a row at 356%. Brooklyn and Las Vegas are back in the black with 56% and 30% increase respectively. Los Angeles and New York posted positive growth for the fourth week in a row. Minneapolis and Portland doubled week over week, and San Francisco was up 150%. 

The Down

Atlanta was down after three weeks in the black with -33%. Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tampa were all down for the fourth week in a row.

 

From December to August, demand for obtaining long term rental housing doubles. There is a loose correlation between the monthly growth of new listings entering the market and the demand curve for obtaining long term rentals. The graph below shows month over month new listings growth from January to May for 2019 and 2020.

The long term rental marketing is showing signs that inventory may already be creeping back up to pre-COVID-19 levels. While we saw expected underperformance in March and April, May 2020 has been almost a revelation. Not only are we seeing positive new listings growth, we’re also seeing May 2020 outperform May 2019 by a wide margin. Recently, states have been easing shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders which could have resulted in more activity among landlords and property managers. 

There’s a strong likelihood that we see this trend continue as many state and local freezes on rent payments expired on May 31. There could be a wave of evictions, according to housing expert Emily Benfer, as tenants suddenly need to pay three months’ worth of rent. As these rentals are vacated and unemployment continues at historically high rates, the demand may not meet the supply thereby potentially causing a rental crisis.

If you are in the process of filling your properties, TurboTenant can help streamline your rental process with easy and free online rental applications as well as thorough tenant screening so you can find the best renter for your property.

If you have data requirements that are outside the scope of this article, please email press@turbotenant.com. We have a plethora of data and are happy to supply another data set if it is available. Check out all of our COVID-19 landlord resources here

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Sarnen Steinbarth

CEO & Founder TurboTenant, Inc

Sarnen has been investing in rental property since the age of 19. He saw firsthand the need for an easy-to-use and affordable technology backed solution geared towards independent landlords. In October of 2015, he launched TurboTenant. Today TurboTenant serves 200,000+ landlords and is still dedicated to making the rental process easy, smooth, and hassle-free. Sarnen is a regular contributor on Forbes and Bigger Pockets and has firmly positioned himself as thought leader in the real estate and proptech space.

Guidelines for using these data.

You are welcome to use any of the data in this report for your own purposes, we just kindly ask that you properly cite the source. You can view our methodology for our TurboTenant Reports here.  

An example citing: According to a report by TurboTenant, an online property management software company….

If you have data requirements that are outside the scope of this article, please email press@turbotenant.com. We have a plethora of data and are happy to supply another data set if it is available. 

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