Positivity on the Horizon? Traffic and Leases Rise in Late April

by Blerim Zeqiri

Leasing Trends

It’s been more than a month since state and local governments began their lockdowns to fight the spread of the coronavirus. And we are seeing the reverberations across all multifamily markets.

I recently wrote about apartment data compiled by Radix for the week ending on April 15. That data showed that, nationally, traffic and signed leases were way down on a year-over-year basis. 

That continues to hold true. But on a positive note, these leading indicators once again have improved when compared to the preceding week as operators figure out ways to drive traffic and leases virtually. 

Our data indicates that for the week ending on April 22, traffic was down 55% nationally from the same time last year. However, it was up 21% on a week-over-week basis. 

Meanwhile, the average U.S. apartment community signed 2.1 leases during the seven days ending on April 22. That represents a YoY decrease of 34.8% but a WoW jump of 25.4%.

While the positive uptick of traffic and leases are leading indicators of improved performance, occupancy and leased percentage rates aren’t showing WoW growth yet. On April 22, national occupancy and leased percentage rates were down 0.20% and 0.29% WoW, respectively, and down 0.9% and 1.01%, respectively, when compared to the same time last year.

The average net effective rent in the U.S. was 0.9% lower on April 22 than it had been one week earlier (and 0.1% higher than one year earlier). 

As the chart below shows, these national trends hold true for many metros across the country. The decline in net effective rents are bound to persist as macroeconomic headwinds are very strong with continued lockdowns and unemployment increasing to record levels. 

I look forward to continuing to provide these statistics as the pandemic unfolds. 

In the meantime, I wish you, your families, your colleagues and your residents health and safety.

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