Announcing Rental Intel: Real-time Analytics on the Homes and Apartment Rental Market

December 6, 2011

by Mike Simonsen


You want to understand the housing market. You’ve always tracked what sold, if you hang with Altos, you know what’s for sale and all that implies. What’s missing from this picture? Forty percent of this country doesn’t own the home they live in. So tell me, What’s for rent?

Today Altos Research is announcing the next stage in our little real-time market data revolution. With the release of our new Rental Intel system We’ve added 700,000 currently for rent apartments and homes into our giant database. For Rent - Reduced??!!

If you’re a institutional investor, lender, servicer, trader and suddenly find yourself with a giant portfolio of properties (distressed loans, pre-foreclosure, REO), you need to understand all the market dynamics to make smart valuations and disposition strategies. In general, to understand a property’s value, you need to investigate three angles:

  1. Recent local closed transactions (Who bought what and how much did they pay?)
  2. Current local asking prices, inventory, and demand trends. (Are there a lot on the market like it? How quickly are they selling? Are asking prices above or below the handful of transactions?)
  3. Current rents and rental availability. (What does an equivalent property rent for? Is there a lot of competition? How much return can an investor expect?)

Altos has always been the leader in the current for sale market. The Rental Intel is a powerful additional view for our clients. As banks and financial firms grow the number of properties they own, they need to make decisions about what to do with all these properties. Sometimes they’re difficult to sell. Sometimes you get an offer, but it seems like a low-ball. What if you can help the borrower stay in the home, how much rent should you charge? The current local rental market informs all of these decisions.

Or consider the cash-for-keys strategy. Often, it is most effective for everyone to pay the distressed borrower a compelling chunk of money to hand over the home. But how much money is compelling? One strategy is to offer several months equivalent rent. If you’re in the cash-for-keys world, you better understand rents.

We created Rental Intel to help address these needs. It’s surprisingly tough technical challenge but it fits well in the Altos market analytics platform.  Here are more details about Rental Intel:

  • Weekly Tracking: 700,000 apartments and homes on the market for rent each week. (Roughly 70% of the units for rent at any given time in the US.)
  • Property Details: Pricing, market time, and property characteristics (property types, square footage, beds, baths, etc)
  • Analytics and Trends: Market prices, current inventories, local rent vs. own ratios. Like all our analytics, we track over 20,000 zip codes, by price range and  property type.
  • Available now as part of our AltosEvaluate suite, via bulk file transfer, or via the Altos Research Market Analytics API.

If you’re interested in understanding the current US rental market, contact our Market Analytics team for samples and pricing.

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