Jon's Reading List - Week of August 6, 2021

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog ,

What a week, huh? Thanks to the CDC's new eviction moratorium, and the quickly emerging Delta variant of COVID-19, there's been a lot of action this week. Here's what I've been reading to try and stay on top of it.

Apartment Industry

Material, Labor Shortages Push Construction Completions to New Lows (GlobeSt.com, August 4, 2021)
Approximately 21,410 apartment units and just over 4 million square feet of office space were completed, marking the lowest apartment and office completion figures in nearly a decade...
The apartment sector enjoyed solid rent growth, thanks to strong demand across markets in Texas and the South Atlantic regions and weak inventory gains. More than 2 million people found employment this quarter, a key driver of multifamily performance, and supply during the quarter was limited, clocking in at 60,000 new units delivered. LaSalvia predicts “solid rent growth” for the remainder of the year in the sector.

Apartment Rents Increase as Young Workers Head Back to Cities (Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2021)
Median rent has risen more than 10% over the past year $1,244, according to homesearch website Apartment List. That figure is also 9.4% above where rents stood in March 2020, right before Covid-19 lockdowns began.
One big factor behind the recent increase: Soaring housing prices are forcing many would-be home buyers out of the for-sale market, and they have had little choice but to pay up for rent. As of June, median existing-home sales prices are up 23.4% from a year earlier to $363,300—a record high, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Government Affairs

Biden told White House chief to seek Harvard legal scholar's guidance, leading to reversal on evictions (Washngton Post, August 5, 2021)
After White House legal advisers found he could not extend a national eviction moratorium, President Biden told Chief of Staff Ron Klain to seek the advice of Harvard law professor emeritus Laurence Tribe about whether an alternative legal basis could be devised for protecting struggling renters across the country, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Legal Battle Looms Over New Eviction Moratorium (Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2021)
A group of property managers and realtors is expected to lodge objections in a Washington federal court to the new moratorium as soon as Wednesday, according to people familiar with their plans. The same plaintiffs, supported by the National Association of Realtors, challenged the previous moratorium, alleging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked legal authority to issue it...
Even if the new moratorium is blocked by a court, that could take weeks or months, buying time for the administration to work with state and local governments to distribute the bulk of some $47 billion in rental assistance already set aside by the federal government. 

Human Resources

Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates Split Corporate America (Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2021)
Business leaders broadly agree they need to get more workers vaccinated to keep the U.S. economy humming in the face of the fast-spreading Delta variant.
But they’re split over how best to do that. Some are dangling bigger bonuses or other incentives to cajole employees into getting the Covid-19 vaccine. Others have started requiring workers get the shot.