NEW RESEARCH EXAMINES THE FINANCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION ASSESSMENTS
April 6, 2021—Falls Church, Va.— The majority (92%) of condominium and homeowners association residents are up to date paying their assessments, according to a new survey by Community Associations Institute (CAI), the leading authority in community association education, governance, and management. To monitor and quantify the financial impact of COVID-19, in April 2020, CAI began surveying members regarding payment of community associations assessments. A community's municipal-like services and amenities—trash collection, road and building maintenance, landscaping, snow removal, pools, fitness rooms, and playgrounds—are funded by homeowner assessments, also known as fees. Thousands of CAI members, including community association management company executives and community association board members representing tens of thousands of community associations throughout the U.S., responded to the surveys. Nearly half (49%) of respondents represent homeowners associations; representatives from condominium communities (41%), housing cooperatives (1%), townhome communities (2%), and associations with a mix of housing (7%) also responded.
Data collected includes a benchmark against statistics from February 2020 (just prior to COVID-19 being declared a national emergency). Respondents indicated the percentage of homeowners who are current (up to date) paying their assessment obligations, 31–60 days late, 61–90 days late, or more than 90 days late.
According to the report, in January and February of this year, 5% of homeowners were more than 90 days delinquent in paying assessments—a two-point decrease from a 7% delinquency rate for December 2020. Communities averaged the lowest rate of more-than-90-day-delinquencies (3%) in September and October 2020.
“Since the federal government's March 2020 moratorium on foreclosures, in response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, condominiums and homeowners associations have not seen a sharp increase in the number of residents unable to pay their assessments," says Dawn M. Bauman, CAE, executive director for the Foundation for Community Association Research and CAI's senior vice president for government and public affairs. “While assessment payments are holding steady, we expect to see an uptick in delinquency rates once mortgage companies are authorized to handle delinquent mortgage payments. Our benchmarking is an essential tool to inform community associations and help residents better prepare for short and long-term fiscal planning and forecasting."
Today, more than 73.9 million Americans reside in a community association, paying roughly $96 billion in assessments, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research. By 2040, the community association housing model is expected to be the most common form of housing, as stated in the 2019-2020 U.S. National and State Statistical Review for Community Association Data, released by the Foundation.
“As our country moves into a recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAI will continue to monitor key economic components of the housing model," added Bauman. “During the housing crisis of the Great Recession, 46% of respondents characterized the impact on associations related to assessment delinquencies and property values to be “serious," and more than one-third of community associations surveyed had a delinquency rate of greater than 11%, a figure that puts homeowners at risk of securing a federally backed mortgage. Traditionally, federal insurers Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration will not secure mortgages in communities with greater than 10% delinquency."
CAI continues to monitor assessment delinquencies as the country continues to recover from the pandemic. CAI is urging governors to elect to participate in the Homeowner Assistance Fund, which was included in the American Rescue Plan Act signed into law on March 11 and will help Americans avoid foreclosure.
To access the full report www.caionline.org/ImpactSurvey
About Community Associations Institute Since 1973, Community Associations Institute (CAI) has been the leading provider of resources and information for homeowners, volunteer board leaders, professional managers, and business professionals in the more than 350,000 homeowners associations, condominiums, and housing cooperatives in the United States and millions of communities worldwide. With more than 42,000 members, CAI works in partnership with 36 legislative action committees and 63 affiliated chapters within the U.S., Canada, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates as well as with housing leaders in several other countries, including Australia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. A global nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization, CAI is the foremost authority in community association management, governance, education, and advocacy. Our mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership, and responsible citizenship—ideals reflected in community associations that are preferred places to call home. Visit us at www.caionline.org, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @CAISocial.
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