The Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units (SOMA), sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), uses the Census Bureau's Survey of Construction (SOC) as its sampling base. Each month, a sample of residential buildings containing five or more units is selected for SOMA. The initial 3-month interview collects information on amenities, rent or sales price levels, number of units, type of building, and the number of units taken off the market (absorbed). Field representatives conduct subsequent interviews, if necessary, at 6, 9, and 12 months after completion. Beginning in 2002, the survey started collecting information on "Senior Housing".
On September 27, 2018, the absorption data for the Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units (SOMA) transitioned to a more user-generated format called Table Creator. The Table Creator format allows the user to create data-specific tables by selecting pre-defined topics and column characteristics. The historical format of the quarterly, annual, and characteristics reports, tables, and figures will no longer be produced. Previously-released SOMA data (quarterly, annual reports, figure, and tables) will remain accessible on the SOMA home page.
The Census Bureau conducts more than 130 surveys each year, including the Survey of Market Absorption of New Multifamily Units (SOMA). This section provides detailed information about the purpose of the survey, type of respondents, sponsoring agency and legal authorities, periodicity, release of results, historical background, and more.
As with all surveys, estimates vary from actual value because of sampling variations or other factors. See Source and Accuracy.
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Characteristics of Data
Statistics from the SOMA refer to apartments in newly constructed buildings with five units or more and their rate of absorption for one year after completion.