Amherst in the News

August 2020: Stimulus Falls Short, Rent Growth Doesn’t

It’s been an interesting few weeks in real estate. Mortgage rates are hitting record lows, housing prices are hitting record highs and shopping malls are becoming Amazon fulfillment centers — all in the midst of a pandemic. As government stimulus expires I anticipate we will see the full extent of what effect this crisis is having on consumers, but I believe SFR will continue to be THE bright stop of the real estate world for the foreseeable future. Some key trends that have stuck out over the past few weeks:

Below you can see that while new listings are up slightly, rental listings are not recovering from pre-COVID levels with a this is a 20% decline in YoY. This drives cumulative year-to-date listings supply down to -12%YoY as of July 18th. As a result, leasing velocity stays 1.5x higher than the last year. Signs of increased sellers caution in Florida with Tampa and Miami post correspondingly 14% and 3% fewer new listings than the last year. It is a decline from the previous week, which is meaningful, given that the US market improved from -1% YoY to 5% YoY. We feel SFR is uniquely positioned to be a resilient, bright spot compared to its real estate asset class peers for the rest of the year, and we have already seen a meaningful increase in out-of-state applicants for our homes as individuals leave dense urban areas and city living for more space. With resident retention levels rising across our portfolio and other single-family rental assets, there is an increasingly evident and significant shortage of affordable high-quality rental assets in the marketplace.