Cash balances for landlords rose in pandemic’s early days

Analysis shows loss in rent revenue largely superseded by drop in expenses

National /
Nov.November 05, 2021 11:00 AM
When rent payments began to normalize that summer, cash balances for landlords rose. (iStock)

When rent payments began to normalize that summer, cash balances for landlords rose. (iStock)

 

Tenants and landlords alike faced unprecedented difficulties during the pandemic, but a new analysis suggests landlords were able to increase their cash balances early on.

The analysis from JPMorgan Chase revealed landlords across the nation had higher cash balances in June 2020 than they did pre-pandemic, according to Vox. The revelation undercuts some of the claims made by landlords about the toll they suffered, particularly in the early months of the pandemic.

According to the analysis, landlords lost about 20 percent of their revenue from rent payments in April and May 2020, but that went part and parcel with a 25 percent drop in expenses. When rent payments began to normalize that summer, cash balances for landlords rose.

In some cases, cash balances were significantly higher than they were before the pandemic. In May 2020, landlord cash balances were up 11 percent year-over-year from 2019. In June 2020, cash balances were up between 25 and 30 percent year-over-year.

However, some landlords were hit harder than others. Those in central cities like San Francisco, New York and Miami had to endure harder losses during the pandemic’s early days due to declining rent, according to the JPMorgan Chase data.

Additionally, the bill will come due for landlords soon. Vox reports that some of the expenses that declined for landlords include maintenance repairs and deferred mortgage payments, both of which need to be eventually addressed.

The analysis adds to growing perspective on the pandemic’s true effect on rental markets after dire forecasts. The eviction moratorium put into place to protect tenants was expected to result in mass evictions after it expired. But less than 37,000 eviction filings were tracked by Princeton’s Eviction Lab in September, less than half of the month’s pre-pandemic average.

[Vox] — Holden Walter-Warner





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