How We Survey Apartment Rental Rates

Our Rental Survey Format

Rental rate status among competitively rented (market-rate) properties (50+ units in size) is assessed by telephone survey as an apartment renter.

To stay current with highly fluid apartment rental market conditions Yardi Matrix surveys measure market conditions - rental rate change, and degree of rent concession participation - under two formats:

  • Full Apartment Universe Surveys - Three times annually (January/February; May/June; and September/October) among the entire 50+ unit (Workforce housing, low mid-range, high mid-range and discretionary) apartment inventory.
  • Between Full-Universe Surveys, monthly surveys are conducted among a stratified, representative sample of market-rate communities, with each strata's (discretionary, high mid-range, low mid-range, and workforce housing) sample size established to a 90% statistical confidence level.

Excluded Properties

Due to inability to accurately report the effect of low income household rental rate subsidies, fully subsidized properties included in the Yardi Matrix property reporting base are excluded from rental rate survey results.

Included Properties

All market-rate properties of fifty units and larger are included in rental rate surveys. Properties incorporating a portion of low income households (i.e. IDA bond financed, or tax credit, properties), with the majority - or a significant component - of units rented competitively, are also included in rent surveys, reflecting competitive market rents not impacted by subsidy requirements.

Why We Survey the Apartment Market the Way We Do

Rental rate change is fundamentally more reflective of apartment rental market conditions than any other data element. A related consequence is reporting accuracy is critical

As markets transition, the gap between asking and effective rents increases in significance. And monitoring this activity escalates in importance as local market conditions shift from relative stability toward instability/increasing market risk, or the reverse condition, as a previously unstable market begins to strengthen.

Gathering effective (as opposed to reported) rent data is difficult to do consistently. Critical potential sampling error differences in traditional rental rate surveys and reporting include:

  • Site personnel reluctance to disclose the gap between asking (published) and effective (actual quoted) rent to surveyors, resulting in distortion of actual rental market conditions.
  • The effect of rental concessions on rental market conditions, as illustrated by the extent of participation in number of stabilized (excluding new properties in rent-up) properties offering monetary rental inducements to rent, and the depth of concessions offered among those apartment communities offering concessions.
  • Straight survey average results stated as a generic "market average" rent vs. a weighted-mean-average rent illustrating rental activity among key rental household types: Discretionary; mid-range (high and low), and working households.

Yardi Matrix surveys are conducted by surveyors representing themselves as renters. As a result, the rents collected illustrate first hand how property-level personnel responsible for rental actually see the market. Actual of-the-moment rents, as opposed to published street rents, are collected. At the time of survey Yardi Matrix surveyors also collect concessions being offered to attract new renters.

The result is Yardi Matrix surveys establish the industry standard for accuracy in rental rate reporting.