Apartment Terminology



Actual Rent - Actual Rent is the monthly rate charged residents to occupy an apartment. The amount illustrated is as-is, without additional qualification.

Market Standard Rent - The Market Standard Rent is an apples-to-apples, converted rent. Conversion reflects the effect of differences in certain outside-the-norm functional attributes, holding reasonably quantifiable value. Inclusion of a functional attribute results in deduction from, or addition to, Actual Rents to arrive at the Market Standard Rent.

Alcove One Bedroom Apartment - The alcove one bedroom (also, bachelor one bedroom/mini one bedroom) apartment is a hybrid floorplan, a compromise between a studio apartment and a one bedroom apartment. The alcove one bedroom apartment is distinguished from a studio apartment by incorporation of a defined sleeping area, and is distinguished from a one bedroom apartment in that the sleeping area is not separated by a wall and doorway from the living area. Typically the alcove one bedroom apartment is smaller in size than a small one bedroom apartment.

Competitive Cluster - A Competitive Cluster is a grouping of properties most like a subject property; determined to be most likely to exert competitive impact on a subject property contained within a defined geographic area surrounding the subject property. A typical Competitive Cluster includes properties contained within a three-mile radius of the subject property.

Context® - Yardi Matrix’s Patented (Patent numbers 7,974,930 and 8,060,450) Context® function is based on a statistical scoring model, placing relative values on real estate improvements, and locations. A series of variables, rated according to inclusion, and degree of desirability, are considered, then weighted according to relative importance. The result provides a graded index which then is placed in perspective within a curved scale defining the individual property's position in relation to total market inventory.

Efficiency Apartment Unit - An efficiency floorplan includes a combined sleeping/living area, and separate bath. The efficiency apartment is similar in format to a studio floorplan, but smaller in size, and rather than including a full kitchen, an element present in a studio floorplan, the efficiency apartment incorporates limited kitchen facilities, generally incorporating an under-the-counter refrigerator, hotplate, and microwave oven, grouped adjacent to bath facilities.

Live-Work Apartment - This type of unit allows the resident to conduct a small business on the ground floor of the building. A most common use would be an artist/loft space, however it can be a regular office type of atmosphere as well. 

Single Room/Resident Occupancy (SRO) - SRO tenants typically share bathrooms and/or kitchens, while some SRO rooms may include kitchenettes, bathrooms, or half-baths.

Loft Studio Apartment - The loft studio apartment, consistent with a traditional studio unit format, provides a single living space - without a defined bedroom area. The loft studio floorplan is distinguished from a conventional studio unit by large space - more likely to be comparable in size with a two bedroom apartment - and typically incorporating above-standard ceiling height.

Competitive Market - A competitive market can be defined as any one of a metropolitan area's submarkets, or an area within a one, to a five, mile radius.

Standard Apartment Unit - Six apartment unit types compose the majority of total metropolitan area apartment units. These standard units include: efficiency, studio, one bedroom, two bedroom/one bath, two bedroom/two bath, and three bedroom/two bath floorplans.

Non-Standard Unit - Any apartment not defined as one of six standard types. Non-standard units incorporate a broad array of types, but collectively compose a limited (less than 10.0% of total inventory) share of metropolitan area apartments.

Power Index - The Power Index compares one submarket's relative rental rate strength with other submarkets. The Power Index is calculated by selecting a floorplan, then dividing that floorplan's average submarket rent by the metropolitan area average rent in the same floorplan.

Property Type - Yardi Matrix defines “Property Type” by improvements rating, based on the Yardi Matrix Context® rating system. Property types are further defined by assumed position against the rental market as:



Household Type Definition Included
Improvement Ratings
Discretionary "Lifestyle renters"; renters with wealth and income sufficient to own, but who choose to rent.  A+/A 
High Mid-Range Double-Income-No-Kids (DINK) households; young professionals with limited wealth, but high income. A-/B+
Low Mid-Range "Gray Collar" households: Teachers; technical workers; Policemen, firemen... B/B-
Workforce Typically blue-collar household  C+/C/C-/D



Affordable Properties - Affordable properties have two conditions in common: Some form of government subsidy attached to property tax advantages, or favorable financing, and; households must meet certain income standards below the area median household income. The term Affordable, as it applies to apartment communities, imposes the restriction that households of low-income status (below the median metropolitan area household income) must occupy all, or a part, of a property. The household income determining a resident's eligibility for meeting low-income definitions varies by household size, and from property-to-property. Property-to-property variances reflect guideline variances imposed from program-to-program, or within the same program based on timing of when affordable tax incentives were authorized.

An Affordable property can be either of two types:

Rent-Capped - A rent-capped community imposes a rental rate ceiling - by unit type - that can be charged any household occupying an apartment in the community, but must also comply with a guideline delineating maximum household income qualified to meet the low-income definition. This type of Affordable property can be operated as market-rate, competing for residents, depending on area of the city. In submarkets offering rental rates well below the metropolitan area average, the rental rate restriction may not impose any restrictive consequence on rents the property can change. That is, due to prevailing market conditions, the property may not be able to charge as much rent as is allowable under Affordable guidelines applicable to the property. Properties designated as Partially Affordable must include a certain percentage of households who meet low-income standards in order to maintain benefits associated with their position. Partially Subsidized properties are typically rent-restricted, rather than subsidized.

Subsidized Households - Properties defined as Affordable, but providing a household rent subsidy, will not have a defined rental rate. That is, there may be a stated street rental rate, but governmental subsidies vary from household-to-household, resulting in the position that a property does not offer market rate units. As a result, rent-subsidized properties are not included in rent survey reporting.

For Yardi Matrix reporting purposes, an Affordable community is treated as a market rate, or competitive, community if the Affordable imposition applies only to household income, and not to a subsidy. A Partially Subsidized community is treated as market rate, regardless of the affordable restriction format.

Studio Apartment - A Studio apartment is a small (generally 350 to 425 square feet) apartment in which the living area and bedroom are combined within a single space. The Studio apartment is similar in format to the efficiency apartment, but provides a defined kitchen, rather than the efficiency unit's more limited facility, and is generally larger in size than the efficiency floorplan.

Submarket - A Submarket is a discrete geographic area, defined by the assemblage of census tracts. Census tract combinations are selected for reasonable population demographic similarity.

Townhouse Apartment Unit - A townhouse apartment floorplan is a two (or more) story apartment in which floors above the resident's main floor are also occupied by the resident.

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) – A development included within an approximate one-quarter mile (1,250 foot) radius surrounding a public transit rail station.

Green Building – A property designated as “LEED Certified”, holding particular status as “environmentally friendly”. The term “sustainable” is often applied interchangeably with the green building designation. Sustainable design refers to such characteristics as a lowering of demands on the environment as a result of certain building characteristics: Low energy usage; reduced water usage; carbon neutral (i.e. no carbon dioxide emissions result from property operations – either directly, or indirectly).

Several factors are defined under the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program which awards ratings (silver, gold, and platinum) under its format, but no clear definition of “Green” has been established to inform which characteristics must be included in a property to qualify for the definition. Instead there is a relatively substantial list of possible elements which can contribute to a development receiving “Green” designation:


  • Conversion of a prior Brownfields site.
  • Building site positioning to take advantage of energy efficiencies.
  • Materials selection – Sensitivity to indoor air quality conditions; avoidance of use of volatile, organic compounds.
  • Use of renewable energy sources – Solar electric; wind generated electric; geothermal, or solar thermal, heating.
  • Carbon neutral – the property’s operations will not result in carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere, either incurred directly by the building, or indirectly by suppliers of energy to the building.
  • Energy efficiency – Materials providing isolative qualities in roofing, walls, windows, or energy absorption in extreme climates; reflective coatings in warm climates.
  • Sharing of parking structures with other uses (i.e. as in a mixed-use development).
  • Low energy usage – High SEER rated air conditioning; energy efficient lighting, and appliances.
  • Building Design – Making use of daylight to illuminate interiors; use of natural ventilation.
  • Water Use Reduction – Rainwater retention systems; drought-tolerant plantings; low water usage showerheads and toilets.
  • Public Transportation Proximity – Public transit-served locations allowing residents to travel by public transportation to and from their occupation or entertainment venues without need for automobile travel.




Student Housing – Student Housing is furnished, rented by the bed, (as opposed to conventional rental – by the apartment) and positioned to appeal specifically to student residents, although rental may not necessarily be limited to students. Student Housing is most often located immediately adjacent, or closely proximate, to a college or university campus.

Military Housing – Military Housing, located typically on military bases, is privately developed. Rental is restricted to military personnel, but operated as a private enterprise.

Use Session - A use session is defined as, the time period between when a user logs onto the service, and ends activity by logging out. Logging out occurs as a result of one of two events:

  • The user opts to log out;
  • No Portal use activity has occurred during a twenty-minute period. In that event, logging out will occur as a result of being automatically timed out.