CoreLogic has released its fourth quarter 2012 CoreLogic SafeRent Renter Applicant Risk (RAR) Index Report, formerly known as the Multifamily Applicant Risk (MAR) Index Report. Published quarterly, the RAR Index Report provides market-based benchmarks for evaluating credit quality and risk of default for renters applying for apartment homes in multifamily housing units. The index also includes data from single-family rentals. Using a mean of 100, an index value above 100 indicates decreased risk, and a value below 100 indicates increased risk.
According to the data, the risk of default among renters nationwide decreased year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2012 with an index value of 103 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 with an index value of 101. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the risk of default increased in the fourth quarter 2012 compared to the third quarter of 2012 when the index value was 106. The increased risk from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2012 reflects a riskier applicant pool that is typical in seasonally slower periods of applicant traffic.
►Lower-priced rentals see more significant decreases in rent amounts: Average rent amounts for Class A properties, defined as those with rents greater than $1100, increased 0.3 percent year over year. At the same time, rent amounts for Class B properties, defined as those between $750 and $1100, remained unchanged from one year ago, while rent amounts for Class C properties, defined as less than $750, decreased 0.9 percent year over year.
►Dual applicants increase: In the fourth quarter of 2012, the number of transactions with two applicants increased across property class. On a year-over-year basis, dual-applicant transactions increased 3.9 percent for Class A properties, increased 2.8 percent for Class B properties and increased 0.3 percent for Class C properties.
►Applicant income rises: Applicant income in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased an average of 1.7 percent among all property classes year over year and also increased over the previous quarter by 0.5 percent.
►Fewer applicants declined: Compared to a year ago, property managers denied fewer applicants in the fourth quarter of 2012. Class A property managers denied 5 percent fewer applicants, Class B managers denied 1.3 percent fewer and Class C managers denied 0.6 percent fewer applicants.