SANTA ANA, CA - CoreLogic, a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today announced that CoreLogic SafeRent, provider of the nation's leading suite of screening and risk management services designed for the multifamily housing industry, released its second quarter 2012 multifamily applicant risk (MAR) index report including new renter trends. The second quarter MAR Index value increased six points from the first quarter 2012 and three points from a year ago, indicating an increase in national renter credit quality and applicant pool quality.
The MAR Index for second quarter 2012 is based exclusively on applicant traffic credit quality scores from the CoreLogic SafeRent statistical lease screening model (Registry ScorePLUS®). The MAR Index is updated quarterly to provide property owners and managers with a benchmark against which to evaluate their applicant credit quality trends against market-based MAR Index trends. This comparison indicates the relative strength of their property portfolio to attract and secure applicants with higher credit quality and an increased likelihood of fulfilling lease obligations.
When comparing applicants for one- versus two-bedroom units, the second quarter 2012 MAR Index is slightly lower for one-bedroom units at 107, than two bedroom units at 108 (for a detailed graph, click here)
Renter trends such as applicant traffic, income trends and demographics are key metrics to evaluate performance and can vary depending on the market and property class. Renter traffic trends are developed quarterly by analyzing screening transactions from more than 6 million apartment homes and 39,000 properties.
Rent Affordability Continues to Improve: The share of household income applicants pay for rent was at or near its lowest level since 2007 for all property classes. According to Jay Harris, senior director of Business Development for CoreLogic SafeRent, "continued doubling up and lower rent-to-income ratios suggest that renters can afford higher rents in many markets for many property types."
Younger Applicants Returning: Applicants age 18-24 appear to be returning to the market—their share of SafeRent's applicant traffic is up over the past 12 months compared to the same period of the prior year. In the second quarter, applicants age 18-24 were 18.3 percent of applicants to Class A properties—levels not seen since Q3 2008.
Thin or No Credit File Applicants Increase: Applicants with thin (3 or less trade lines on credit bureau file) or no credit bureau files were 28.9 percent of SafeRent's second quarter renter applicants—the highest share of renter applicants since 2007.
Derogatory Mortgage History Doesn't Appear to be a Barrier for Applicants: After increasing for three consecutive years, the share of rental applicants with prior mortgage history was only slightly higher in the second quarter, 27.5 percent, compared to the prior year. The share of applicants with derogatory mortgage history was unchanged at 4.9 percent. More than 82 percent of applicants with mortgage history qualify to rent under SafeRent users' criteria. "SafeRent clients are qualifying to rent substantial majorities of consumers who lack a conventional credit file," adds Harris.
18-24 Age Group Appears to be Returning to the Market: In the second quarter, this age group was 18.3 percent of applicants to Class A properties—levels not seen since Q3 2008.
Regional Multifamily Applicant Risk Index Data
Regionally, the South reflected the lowest MAR Index value—105, although this is a four point increase year over year. The Northeast continues to maintain the highest MAR Index with a value of 116 with no change compared to second quarter 2011.
The three Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with the greatest decreases in the MAR Index year-over-year were Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio (two point decline); Rochester, N.Y. (two point decline); and Oklahoma City, Okla. (one point decline). The three MSAs with the greatest increases in the MAR Index year-over-year were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.; and Salt Lake City, Utah; each up four points. The MAR Index is published quarterly by CoreLogic SafeRent. It provides trends of national and regional traffic credit quality scores whereby a lower index value indicates an applicant pool with a higher risk of not fulfilling lease obligations. A MAR Index value of 100 indicates that market conditions are equal to the national mean for the index's base period of 2004. A MAR Index value greater than 100 indicates market conditions with reduced average risk of default relative to the index's base period mean. A value less than 100 indicates market conditions with increased average risk of default relative to the index's base period mean. The MAR Index is derived from the statistical screening model from CoreLogic SafeRent, which is the multifamily industry's only screening model that is both empirically derived and statistically validated. The statistical screening model was developed from historical resident lease performance data to specifically evaluate the potential risk of a resident's future lease performance. The model generates scores for each applicant indicating the relative risk of the applicant not fulfilling lease obligations. A lower score indicates a more risky applicant.