In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 336,000 adults live in households that are behind on rent due at the end of August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
That’s 30% of all Inland Empire tenants and almost twice the rate in Los Angeles and Orange counties where 537,000 who live in rentals were late payers – 17% of all tenants.
The Inland Empire payment challenges also look high compared to 15% of skipped rent checks statewide and across the U.S. in late August.
Lower-income workers, who tend to be tenants, have been hit harder by pandemic business restrictions, which have hammered many service industries such as dining, entertainment and tourism. With various stimulus efforts expired or reduced, rent payments have become tougher to meet.
This also puts landlords in tough positions with various moratoriums on evictions further strapping their abilities to get paid.
A poll from the Public Policy Institute of California says about renters’ economic plight: When asked to evaluate their financial feelings – 66% of renters statewide said “fair” or “poor” vs. just 40% for homeowners.
And not only are past-due rent payments piling up, the prospects of making the next rent check aren’t great in the Inland Empire.
Census found 261,000 renters had “no confidence” they can pay (or will defer paying) the landlord this month – 22% of tenants. In L.A.-O.C., 412,000 renters are unlikely to pay – or 12% of tenants. Nationally, this expected non-payment rate is 11%; statewide it’s 10%.
Pandemic-linked financial woes in Southern California are plentiful and not just a renter issue. Note that July’s 16.8% unemployment rate in L.A.-O.C. was the highest among the 51 largest metro areas nationwide and the Inland Empire at 13.4% was ninth worst.
How Mortgage Payers Compare
But compare skipped rent payments to far fewer missed mortgage bills for homeowners.
Census found 423,000 living in homes they own in L.A.-O.C. were behind on their mortgage – 14% of homes with financing. And 11% of these owners had no confidence or would defer their next mortgage payment.
In the Inland Empire, 164,067 are in households that were late on the mortgage – 11% of owners with financing. Just 6% have no confidence or will defer the next house payment.
Owners are later payers outside the region, too. Statewide, 10% are behind on the mortgage and 8% have doubts about the next payment. Nationally, 10% are behind and 6% think they miss or defer the upcoming mortgage due.
“Variances are being heavily driven by the different industry and population composition among the state’s diverse metro areas,” said Taner Osman, research manager at Beacon Economics. “Think about the industry sectors that dominate a region like Los Angeles – entertainment, leisure and hospitality, healthcare, retail – these are some of the hardest hit by the pandemic’s health-mandated closures and offer little possibility to work remotely; as such, they simply can’t show the same resilience seen, for example, in professional, scientific, and technical services.”
In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 336,000 adults live in households that are behind on rent. In Los Angeles and Orange counties, 537,000 who live in rentals were late payers.