MReport December 2020

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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44 | M R EP O RT SERVICING THE LATEST O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T Mounting Pressure Investors move to sell properties as renters miss payments. A ccording to new data released by the Urban Institute and Avail, more than one-third of landlords have not received rent payments during September. In a survey of 1,381 landlords who own rental properties, 35.2% of respondents said they did not receive the full number of rental payments from tenants during September, while 38.1% were not expecting to receive total rent payments in October. More than three-quarters of respondents stated their September situation was due to tenants struggling financially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and either did not or could not make full rent payments. The survey also found 18.6% of landlords reported their vacancy rates have increased since the start of the pandemic. The combination of nonpaying tenants and vacant units created great financial stress on landlords, with 31% of survey respondents admitting they felt more pressure to sell their proper - ties during the pandemic than before the crisis started. However, higher-income land- lords and those without a mortgage were under less pressure to sell their properties. More than 47% of landlords with under $50,000 of income reported increased pressure to sell, while just over 20% of landlords with income of $150,000 or more stated they felt pressured. And a little less than one-third of landlords with a mortgage said they experienced increased pres - sure to sell their properties, where- as slightly more than one-quarter of respondents without a mortgage experienced the same stress. Despite the increased vacancy rates, landlords are not rushing to fill empty units, with 35.6% of respondents tightening—30% of respondents demand higher credit scores, and 50% expect higher income relative to monthly rental rates. The survey also found Black and Hispanic landlords were more likely than their white counterparts to intensify the screening process, by a 50% to 35% measurement. But the survey also noted that Black and Hispanic landlords are more likely to own two-to-four-unit rental buildings in lower-income communities where eviction rates are higher. As for the near-future, 37% of landlords feared the remaining months in 2020 would see the continuation of their problems due to the extension of the federal eviction moratorium, while 34.5% cited the expiration of pandemic- related unemployment insurance benefits as the primary source of their dilemma.

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