How does our technology help to find the best places to invest in rental property?

The APV United States Property Location Ranking™ shows scores for property locations on a scale of 1 to 100. The most desirable locations receive a score of 100.

There are two rankings assigned for each address. The National ranking shows how the property ranks as compared to other properties throughout the United States. The State ranking shows how the location stacks up against others within the state.

Instantaneous Real Estate Market Analysis Offering Guidance for Decision Makers

The system uses county and census tract level data along with real estate pricing information to give real estate investors, lenders, redevelopment agencies, brokers, renters and even homebuyers the information needed to perform initial real estate market analysis--instantaneously. The location ranking scores provide market research that can be useful in planning and designing new projects as well as selecting among existing sites.

The scoring system helps to answer questions such as:

  • Are my instincts about this location right?
  • Is the property in a good neighborhood?
  • Is this the best neighborhood among those being considered?
  • Will there be enough renters to maintain strong occupancy?
  • What is the market potential?
  • Is this a good city for investment property?

Users may utilize the scores for any of the following objectives:

  • Deciding whether to acquire or dispose of a property
  • To assist with corporate relocation or expansion decisions
  • To obtain zoning or other government approvals
  • As supporting documentation for lenders or investors
  • To include with a sales or offering memorandum
  • To make hold or sell asset management decisions
  • For use in brochures or publications
  • Assessing a property’s advantages and disadvantages

The scoring system applies to a wide range of rental property product types, including:

  • Single-family detached houses and townhomes
  • Multifamily apartment buildings
  • Rentals of condominium units
  • Modular or manufactured housing
  • Mobile-home communities
  • Vacation home rentals or second-home rentals
  • Master-planned rental communities and subdivisions
  • Short-term rental properties

The tool is meant to be used in conjunction with other forms of analysis including walk scores, economic indicators, demographic data, employment statistics, tourism trends, psychographics, consumer surveys, quantitative research, conversations with locals, fieldwork, absorption rates, focus groups, etc. Depending on the size and scope of the project, the location score may be one small part of an overall feasibility study.

Projecting demand for real estate requires a combination of quantitative analysis, experience and even intuition. The location rankings assist with the demand-side, quantitative analysis. As is the case for any commodity, price is a function of both demand and supply. The methodology used to establish the rankings focuses primarily on demand-side attributes. Stakeholders should be sure to study the supply side of the equation as well.

Enter a property address above to find its location ranking.


The APV United States Property Location Ranking System is constructed using socio-demographic data from major Census Bureau surveys, specifically the American Community Survey, Population Estimates Program, and County Business Patterns.

The nine components of the system are:

Name Definition Source
High school diploma Percent of residents over the age of 25 who have obtained at least a high school diploma or equivalent 2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates
Housing vacancy rate Percent of habitable housing that is unoccupied, excluding properties that are for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use 2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates
Rental rate Percent of occupied housing units occupied by renters 2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates
Median income ratio Median household income as a percent of the state’s median household income 2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates
Population Resident population estimate 2017 Population Estimates Program
Net migration Net migration rate 2017 Population Estimates Program
Change in employment Percentage change in number of employees 2017 County Business Patterns1
Change in establishments Percentage change in number of establishments 2017 County Business Patterns2
Population density Number of residents per square mile 2017 American Community Survey3

We combine this data with APV’s proprietary database of U.S. rental housing pricing information to assign a national and state ranking to each location without regard to the physical attributes of the property located at the address entered. Scores range from zero to 100, such that the community with the average rank of 12,500 out of 25,000 will register a score of 50.0.

The system is intended to be a local measure, so we estimate rankings separately at the county and census tract levels. In all, we cover each of the 3,100+ counties and over 73,000 census tracts.

  • 1. Calculated as the number of employees in 2017 divided by the number of employees in 2016 (from the 2016 County Business Patterns)
  • 2. Calculated as the number of establishments in 2017 divided by the number of establishments in 2016 (from the 2016 County Business Patterns)
  • 3. Population estimates via 2017 ACS estimates. Land area estimates via TigerWeb.