A new Zillow analysis found renters were growing more confident even before the government extended its moratorium on evictions through July.

The number of tenants behind on rent has declined in recent months, and fewer believe they are at risk of eviction, according to a Zillow analysis released Thursday.

Before the federal government extended its eviction moratorium through July, the real estate tech company crunched numbers from census surveys and eviction data to estimate the country was on track for approximately 205,000 eviction filings in July and August. 

That amount is approximately half the number of eviction filings seen in the average two-month period in 2016, the most recent year for which Eviction Lab has complete data, Zillow said.

The analysis cautioned that predictions are particularly difficult in these unprecedented times.

“When the moratoria do eventually expire, the number of renters that ultimately do get evicted will depend on the pace of the economic recovery and individual landlord choices,” Zillow’s analysis reads. “There is no historical precedent to the current moment, and very little relevant data to precisely map out the path forward.”

The company based its analysis in part on census surveys.

The Household Pulse Survey ending June 7 found that 7.1 million renters were behind on housing payments, down from 8.4 million in the survey ending in March. 

The number of people who expect to be evicted within 60 days dropped from 1.4 million to 1.2 million over that same time.

Zillow’s data analysis suggests far fewer would actually be evicted.

This growing confidence among renters preceded the news that the federal government will push the end date of eviction and foreclosure moratoria to the end of July. Both moratoria, which has helped keep renters and owners in their homes throughout the pandemic, had been set to expire at the end of June.

In addition to the eviction moratorium, the Zillow study credited government rental-assistance programs with improving the outlook for renters.

Email Daniel Houston

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