How COVID-19 is Impacting the Rental Market Industry Report – July 14th, 2020

The TurboTenant Rental Trends report continues to expand to include analysis for the last four weeks, ending on July 12th. 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:

  • New York and Baltimore have seen positive active listing growth for four consecutive weeks.
  • Phoenix and Portland are now at their third consecutive week in the red for active listings.

Renter Lead Growth

  • Portland had the highest renter lead growth, with an increase of 193%.
  • After seeing an uptick in renter leads for three weeks, Denver saw a decline of 31.07% this week.

New Listing Growth

  • Boston, Omaha, Los Angeles, and San Francisco all made extreme gains in new listing growth sitting at 489%, 425%, 204%, and 180%.
  • Over half of our cities still remain below pre-shutdown new listing growth this week: Chicago, Brooklyn, Cleveland, and Denver.

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 8th and ending on Sunday, July 12th. 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 5th. Historically, in a pre-coronavirus world, these numbers have increased as we enter the peak rental season starting in April. This week’s analysis spans the July 4th weekend, surging COVID-19 cases, as well as state shutdowns, and re-opening pull backs. It’s a wild world out there. 

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

Portland held steady week over week.

The Up

New York and Baltimore have both seen positive or steady growth for four consecutive weeks. Additionally, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Omaha, and Philadelphia are all in their second week in the black. Jersey City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle are now experiencing positive growth after seeing negative numbers last week. Boston reported the best growth last week at nearly 71% and Denver is up after being in the red for multiple weeks.

The Down

Billings, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Minneapolis slipped into the red after seeing positive active listing growth the previous week. Phoenix is now at its third consecutive week in the red along with Portland. San Francisco and Tampa are in their second week in the red with a 9% and 10% decline.

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

Overall, the majority of cities saw a positive increase this week. Las Vegas, New York, and Philadelphia are the three cities that have stayed positive for four consecutive weeks. Portland had the highest uptick with an increase of 193% compared to its previous week of a 75% decline. Additionally, Atlanta and Brooklyn are at their second week of growth and Tampa, Seattle, San Diego, Omaha, Miami, Jersey City, Houston, Boston, and more shifted to positive growth after being in the red last week

The Down

San Francisco, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Baltimore have continued to decline for either the second or third week. After seeing an uptick in renter leads for three weeks, Denver saw a decline of 31.07% last week. Milwaukee also dropped into the red sitting at -26% after experiencing growth the previous week.

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

Boston, Minneapolis, and New York all stayed steady this week. 

The Up

Baltimore, Billings, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, and Tampa all had positive lead growth last week.

The Down

Fewer cities experienced a drop this week-  Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee. 

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, Omaha, Los Angeles, and San Francisco all made extreme gains in new listing growth sitting at 489%, 425%, 204%, and 180%. Baltimore, Billings, Philadelphia, and Seattle also saw good growth this week – New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are the only three cities that have seen positive growth for the last four weeks.

The Down

Over half of our cities still remain below pre-shutdown new listing growth this week: Chicago, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Jersey City, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, and Tampa.

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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