Survey of Market Absorption of Apartments (SOMA)

About the SOMA Survey - Third Quarter 1997

The Survey of Market Absorption (SOMA) is designed to provide data concerning the rate at which privately financed, nonsubsidized, unfurnished units in buildings with five or more units are rented or sold (absorbed). In addition, data on characteristics of the units, such as number of bedrooms and rent or price, are collected.

All statistics from the SOMA are limited to apartments in newly constructed buildings with five units or more. Absorption rates are based on the first time an apartment is rented after completion, or the first time a cooperative or condominium apartment is sold after completion. If apartments initially intended to be sold as cooperative or condominium units are, instead, offered by the builder or building owner for rent, they are counted as rental apartments. Units categorized as federally subsidized are those built under the following programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development: Low Income Housing Assistance (Section 8), Senior Citizens Housing Direct Loans (Section 202), and all units in buildings containing apartments in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) rent supplement program. The data on privately financed units include privately owned housing subsidized by state and local governments. Units categorized as not in the scope of the survey include time-sharing units, continuing care retirement units, and turnkey units (privately built for and sold to local public housing authorities after completion).

Tables 1 through 4 and 9 are restricted to privately financed, nonsubsidized, unfurnished, rental apartments. Table 5 is restricted to privately financed, nonsubsidized, cooperative and condominium apartments, while Tables 6, 7, 8, and 10 are limited to condominium apartments only. Table 11 is a summary table which includes all newly constructed apartments in buildings with five units or more.

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
Last Revised: September 30, 2011