About 3 months ago I posted my Craigslist & Zillow Rental Comps for January 2016. That was the first time doing comps using Craigslist.org and Zillow.com Previously I was using Rentometer but I decided to abandon them because their data wasn't being updated properly. Since its been about 3 months I went out and checked the figures again.
Here are the Zillow Rent Zestimate figures :
The Craigslist median rents are :
And the bottom 10% rents are at :
Some of those numbers are up or down quite a lot. This actually makes sense for the A and E properties where rent has been going up a lot lately. The C and D rents are up more than I'd expect in the period in question. B is down a bit but I'm not really sure whats going on there. I'll need to see a longer trend to have a better idea how solid these figures are. But I believe the numbers generally. I'm not sure if having rent to up or down $100 in just 3 months is valid but we'll see. I could also be seeing seasonal changes in the market as well as I'd expect increases to happen more in the spring than not as housing markets heat up.
One detail I've found is that some of the very low rent figures are not valid. In the B market I was looking at the bottom 10% figures on Craigslist and found that anything under $1000 was a suspicious listing. Some of them were "rent to own" properties and others were "too good to be true" listings with no pictures or little actual detail. My conclusion is that the real bottom of the market may be higher than the figures I'm finding due to the fake listings polluting the results.
For Zillow I just check the Rent Zestimate figure for the single family homes.
Checking comps on Craigslist is much more involved. I have to pull up the housing search, center the property and search for the number of bedrooms. Then I also limit it to similar style properties (houses vs apartments) and designate if we do or don't take pets. Then I have to do a little trial and error to see where the median and bottom 10% rent levels fall. I look at the total number of properties for rent and then find the price level below which 50% and 10% of the listings fall. For example if there are 59 units then I try and find the price point where ~30 are above and blow for median and then about 6 units are below for the bottom 10%.