Data Visualizations of the Rental Market

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In his article Why Abraham Lincoln Loved Infographics, author Gareth Cook explains that because our brains make sense of our surroundings through visual cues, we need images – not just words and numbers – to help us find the stories and patterns within data.

When it comes to fluctuations in the rental market, images can be particularly helpful – and even more so when discerning patterns across neighborhoods.

Here are some illuminating graphics for the rental market…

Rental Prices in San Francisco

Using data from Zillow, Chris Rutherford of The Bold Italic created an animation depicting changes in San Francisco rents by neighborhood over a three-year period.

Here’s the beginning of the animation, in December 2010: see above
Here’s the last month of data collected, for April 2014:

Image source: The Bold Italic

The 3D animation of the San Francisco boundary helps us instantly grasp which neighborhoods are “red-hot.”

Rental Prices in Portland, OR

Also using Zillow data, The Oregonian created infographics comparing monthly rent values across Portland neighborhoods, city sector, and ZIP Code.

Image source: The Oregonian

Hillside, Southwest Hills, and Northwest Heights have the most expensive rentals in the city, and they’re increasing at a faster rate than most other Portland neighborhoods.

Rental Prices in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn rental market is hopping this year – the median rent in Brooklyn is $2,800/month, up 8.6% since 2013. This map from Curbed NY and MNS gives an overview:

Image source: MNS Brooklyn Rental Market Report

This map’s clear message: If you want to avoid skyrocketing rentals, don’t look in Bed-Stuy. In fact, you should probably steer clear of the entire northern section of the borough.

Trulia’s Visualizations of Local Markets

For loads of maps depicting all types of information about local housing markets – rental prices, school locations, commute times, and much more – Trulia is an excellent resource: (Trulia licenses both Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries and Maponics School Boundaries.)