The loss of tourism due to Covid-19 travel restrictions is hurting cities across the U.S. — and now, the economic impact is trickling down to renters.
Cities that are heavily reliant on the tourism and hospitality industries are seeing higher numbers of tenants who have missed rent payments, according to data from RealPage. The data covered tenants who reside in professionally managed buildings and excludes single-family rentals.
New Orleans had the largest share of tenants who missed a rent payment in September, going up to 12.9 percent from 8.6 percent a year earlier.
Las Vegas has also been hit hard: More than 10 percent of tenants in that city missed their rent payment in September, up from 4.1 percent in the previous year. The city’s economy was devastated by casinos operating at reduced capacity, as well as canceled business conferences.
“Trouble spots include really expensive metros where unemployment benefits don’t cover rent and hospitality-heavy economies where the number of workers losing their jobs is so high,” said said Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage.
Some of those pricier markets include New York, where 6.7 percent of tenants missed rent, up from 3.8 percent in the previous year, and Los Angeles, where 6.6 percent of tenants missed their September payment, up 2.2 percent from the same time last year.
The multifamily sector has remained stronger than was initially expected at the onset of the pandemic. The National Multifamily Housing Council recently reported that 92.2 percent of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by Sept. 27, although its report tracks only market-rate rentals, not ones that are rent-regulated.
But some experts say that the full impact of the virus has yet to be felt on the sector since eviction moratoriums are still in place. Extra relief for renters under the CARES Act ran out at the end of July.