Apartment rentals are showing signs of life, according to Equity Residential

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Apartment giant Equity Residential says its leasing business is starting to show signs of life.

In its first quarter earnings report, the company said 97% of its tenants paid rent during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Under very difficult circumstances, our business continues to be sustainable,” said Mark J. Parrell, President and CEO of Equity Residential.

MARC PARELL

“Our April payment statistics show a financially resilient resident base and although very early on we saw nothing to suggest that May will be significantly different. We are also seeing an improvement in our rental activity from the very low levels we experienced at the end of March, although most of the activity remains below normal levels. “

As the company’s markets have become subject to shelter-in-place orders, traffic, initial leads and apartment requests have fallen by 50% or more from the same time last year.

In April 2020, the business experienced a recovery in demand with traffic, initial leads and applications “improving dramatically”.

While its residential rent collections have remained strong, non-residential operations, which mainly consist of ground-floor retail in its apartment buildings and public parking lots, have been more affected by the pandemic.

The company raised approximately 58%, or $ 3.6 million, of retail cash receipts during the month of April 2020 compared to March 2020, and 67%, or 1.3 million of dollars, of the collections of public car parks during the month of April 2020 compared to the month of March 2020.

At the end of April 2020 and March 2020, retail tenants owed more than $ 7 million in deferred or past due rents.

Parell said Equity Residential is preparing for the reopening of New York “working diligently to prepare our employees and our properties to operate safely and as efficiently as possible once restrictions are lifted in our markets.”

“While job losses in recent times will put pressure on operations in the near term, we expect our properties and markets to remain desirable for our affluent tenant population and our operations to return to a more normal state. over time, ”he added.

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