There has been a marked improvement in stabilized September rent collections (i.e., collections above 95%).
- More than half (55%) of respondents indicated they have received greater than 95% of collections (a level considered stable by the industry) for the month of September 2021.
- This is a major increase over the number (46%) of respondents who indicated this level of collection in March 2021, and a significant increase over the number in June 2021 (49%).
There has also been a marked improvement in the tail-end of owners who indicated their buildings are at risk of foreclosure (i.e., collections below 85%).
- 20% of respondents indicated they have received less than 85% of collections (i.e., they risk foreclosure) for the month of June 2021.
- This is far fewer than the number of respondents (30%) who indicated this level of collection in June 2021.
While the overall numbers are much better, there are marked differences between the situation on the north side and downtown and the situation on the south and west sides.
- 64% of respondents on the north side and downtown report stable collections (above 95%), while only 47% of those on the south and west sides continue report collections at this stable level.
- 93% of respondents on the north side and downtown report collections above 85% (the threshold at risk of foreclosure), while 30% of those on the south and west sides are still reporting collections that place them at risk of foreclosure.
There is also a notable difference in the percentage of tenants who are significantly behind in their rent (more than 180 days).
- Almost half of respondents on the south and west sides (49%) have tenants over 180 days in arrears, while only 36% of those on the north and downtown side do so.
- Significantly, 9% of respondents on the south and west sides have more than a quarter of their tenants over 180 days in arrears, while only 6% of those on the north and downtown side do so.
Housing providers’ financial positions still show signs of stress from the challenges of the past 18 months.
- Only 51% of respondents made fewer capital improvements, as opposed to 66% in March 2021, and 58% in June 2021.
- Only 39% of respondents plan to cut their repairs & maintenance budget, as opposed to 50% in March 2021, and 40% in June 2021.
- Only 21% of respondents are facing personnel cuts, as opposed to 32% in March 2021 and 25% in June 2021.
- Only 6% don’t expect to pay their property taxes on time or in full, as opposed to 14% in March 2021, and 13% in June 2021.
- 3% of respondents don’t expect to pay their mortgage on time or in full, as opposed to 7% in March 2021 and 4% in June 2021.
About the Survey
The Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance (NBOA), in cooperation with its affiliate members, and Essex Realty Group, Inc., conducted an online survey of more than 175 Chicago housing providers to determine the current status of neighborhood rental housing in the City (and surrounding MSA). The survey was conducted October 18th through October 28th, 2021.
As a continuation of several quarterly NBOA surveys conducted since October 2020, this survey collected important data on rent collections and the neighborhood housing landscape since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey also asked the respondents about the type of buildings they owned, the size of their portfolio (by number of housing units) and the location of those buildings.
Profile of Survey Respondents
The respondents collectively own approximately 30,000 rental units throughout Chicagoland. As was the case with previous survey iterations, over two-thirds (approximately 72%) of the respondents consisted of small- and mid-sized housing providers who own fewer than 100 rental units and/or own ten (10) or fewer buildings. Further, almost half the respondents (47%) reported owning five or fewer properties. As such, this survey is representative of Chicago’s smaller to medium-sized housing providers who make up the bulk of the City’s rental housing stock.