Survey of Market Absorption of Apartments (SOMA)

About the SOMA Survey - Third Quarter 2008

The Survey of Market Absorption (SOMA) measures how soon privately financed, nonsubsidized, unfurnished units in buildings with five or more units are rented or sold (absorbed) after completion. In addition, the survey collects data on characteristics such as number of bedrooms, asking rent, and asking price.

The estimates in this report are based on responses from a sample of the population. As with all surveys, estimates may vary from actual values because of sampling variation or other factors. All comparisons made in this report have undergone statistical testing and are significant at the 90-percent confidence level.



All statistics from the SOMA refer to apartments in newly constructed buildings with five units or more. Absorption rates reflect the first time an apartment is rented after completion or the first time a condominium or cooperative apartment is sold after completion. If apartments initially intended to be sold as condominium or cooperative units are, instead, offered by the builder or building owner for rent, they are counted as rental apartments. Units categorized as federally subsidized or receiving tax credits include the units subsidized under the following Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs --Sections 8, 202, 811, 221(d)(3) or 221 (d)(4). In addition, units receiving Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) through the Internal Revenue Service program are included in this category. The data on privately financed units include privately owned housing subsidized by state and local governments. Time-share units, continuing-care retirement units, and turnkey units (privately built for and sold to local public housing authorities after completion) are outside the scope of the survey.

Tables 1 through 4 and Table 9 provide information about privately financed, nonsubsidized, unfurnished, rental apartments. Table 5 provides information about privately financed, nonsubsidized condominium and cooperative apartments, while Tables 6 through 8 and Table 10 provide information about condominium apartments only. Table 11 summarizes the totals for all types of newly constructed apartments in buildings with five units or more.


1. Details may not sum to totals because of rounding.

Contact George Boyd at 301-763-3199 or mail to for further information on the Survey of Market Absorption of Apartments Data.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division