First Advantage SafeRent Releases Fourth Quarter 2009 Multifamily Applicant Risk Index


January 29, 2010, ROCKVILLE, Md.

First Advantage SafeRent, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Advantage Corporation and the nation's leading and most innovative provider of screening and risk management services for the multifamily industry, today announced the release of fourth quarter 2009 multifamily applicant risk statistics.

The Multifamily Applicant Risk Index (MAR Index) is based on traffic credit quality scores from First Advantage SafeRent’s statistical screening model and is updated quarterly to provide property owners and managers with a benchmark against which to compare their portfolio’s performance. With this unique applicant risk index, property managers and owners are able to compare their applicant credit quality trends with that of the average MAR Index trends. This comparison indicates whether their portfolio is performing above, below or at market levels with respect to attracting and securing applicants with higher credit quality and an increased likelihood of fulfilling their leases.

The fourth quarter national MAR Index, which includes studios, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units (BR), was 98. The MAR Index is down six points from the third quarter 2009 value of 104, indicating a riskier applicant pool for this quarter, largely reflecting seasonal fluctuation typical of quarters having lower applicant traffic. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2008, the MAR Index is slightly lower at 98 compared with last year’s value of 99. When comparing applicants for one- versus two-bedroom units, the MAR Index is slightly higher for one-bedroom units at 99 compared with 97 for two-bedroom units in the fourth quarter (see Graph 1).

Graph 1: United States Multifamily Applicant Risk Index Data

Regionally, the Northeast continues to have the highest MAR Index with a value of 110 and the South has the lowest MAR Index with a value of 95. The West was the only region to see some improvement from the previous year in the fourth quarter (see Table 1).


 

Region

4Q 09

3Q 09

Change from 3Q 09 to

4Q 09

4Q 08

Change from 4Q 08 to

4Q 09

Midwest

97

103

-6

97

  0

Northeast

110

114

-4

110

  0

South

95

101

-6

96

 -1

West

106

108

-2

105

+1

U.S.

98

104

-6

99

-1

 

Table 1: Regional Multifamily Applicant Risk Index Data

 

From a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) perspective, the three MSAs with the leading decreases in the MAR Index were Jacksonville, Fla., Atlanta, Ga.,and Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz., with decreases of two, three and four points, respectively. The three MSAs with the leading increases in the MAR Index were Denver-Boulder-Greeley, Colo., Portland-Salem, Ore.-Wash.,; and Indianapolis, Ind., with increases of three, three, and four points, respectively (see Table 2).


Table 2: Metropolitan Statistical Area & Multifamily Applicant Risk Index Deltas

 

MSAs With Leading Decreases

4Q 09

4Q 08

Change from 4Q 08 to 4Q 09

Jacksonville, Fla.

89

91

-2

Atlanta, Ga.

83

86

-3

Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.

94

98

-4

 

MSAs With Leading Increases

4Q 09

4Q 08

Change from 4Q 08 to 4Q 09

Denver-Boulder-Greeley, Colo.

102

99

+3

Portland-Salem, Ore.-Wash.

104

101

+3

Indianapolis, Ind.

98

94

+4

  NOTE: MSAs are selected from the Top 50 MSAs based on population and applicant volume.



Understanding the Multifamily Applicant Risk Index (MAR Index)

The MAR Index is published quarterly by First Advantage 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 First Advantage SafeRent’s Statistical Screening Model, which is the multifamily industry’s only screening model that is both empirically derived and statistically validated. First Advantage SafeRent’s 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.

To receive the MAR Index data for your Metropolitan Statistical Area or if you have questions, contact First Advantage SafeRent at marketing@FADVSafeRent.com. Data is also available at the property and sub-market level with our benchmarking tools. For more information, visit www.FADVSafeRent.com/Benchmarking. 
 
About First Advantage SafeRent
First Advantage SafeRent, Inc., is the nation's leading and most innovative provider of screening and risk management services to the multifamily housing industry. Through its offices in Rockville, Md., and support offices across the nation, First Advantage SafeRent offers a single source for resident screening services, renters insurance programs, benchmarking, automated lease and document generation and employment screening. More than 39,000 properties, representing over 6 million apartment homes, rely on First Advantage SafeRent every day to assist them in screening residents to meet their community standards and maximize profitability. First Advantage SafeRent leads the industry in innovations and enhancements designed to make the decision process faster, easier and more accurate. For more information, visit www.FADVSafeRent.com.   
 

First Advantage Corporation, a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies, provides innovative products and services that mitigate risk by helping businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies make more informed decisions. Headquartered in Poway, Calif., First Advantage has employees in 13 countries that support more than 90,000 clients globally. More information about First Advantage is available at www.FADV.com.

 

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