- May 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 5

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Sheltering in place: Rising unemployment and the federal stimulus bill have implications for apartment sector

by Loretta Clodfelter

Apartment investors are closely watching developments as the novel coronavirus pandemic creates economic disruption. The multifamily sector is likely to feel significant impacts, especially as job losses mount.

The third week of March saw a staggering 3.3 million new unemployment claims — nearly five times more than the previous record of nearly 700,000 new weekly claims reached in October 1982. That was immediately eclipsed by new claims of 6.9 million in the fourth week of March and 6.6 million in the first week of April.

April will be the big test for apartment landlords, says Jonathan Needell, president and CIO of Kairos Investment Management Corp., who will be paying attention to rent payment trends and whether there are interruptions.

As of April 12, only 84 percent of apartment households had paid that month’s rent, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council; by comparison, 91 percent of households had paid rent by March 12. Class A apartme

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