Department of Numbers

Madison Wisconsin Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Madison, WI (the Madison metro area) was $950 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Madison was $995 in 2016. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2017 Madison median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

Data is also available below for Madison rental vacancy rates, Madison rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Madison.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Madison Wisconsin (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Wisconsin Median Gross Rent $802 0.00% +5.25%
Madison, WI Median Gross Rent $950 +0.53% +7.95%

Madison, WI Real Gross Rent Trends

At $950, real median gross rent in Madison was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005. At $995, real average gross rent in Madison was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Madison: Madison WI Median, Madison WI Average, Wisconsin Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Madison

Date US
Median
Wisconsin
Median
Madison, WI
Median
Madison, WI
Average
2016 $981 $802 $950 $995
2015 $972 $802 $945 $994
2014 $942 $788 $902 $949
2013 $910 $762 $880 $945
2012 $898 $755 $864 $898
2011 $898 $762 $891 $919
2010 $912 $763 $879 $932
2009 $916 $771 $890 $946
2008 $932 $796 $894 $923
2007 $885 $755 $895 $927
2006 $895 $772 $880 $922
2005 $869 $768 $876 $922

Madison Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Madison Wisconsin was 2.90% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Madison Wisconsin

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Wisconsin 4.85% +0.18% -0.37%
Madison, WI 2.90% +1.24% -0.47%

Trends in Madison, WI Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Madison peaked in 2006 at 8.15%. Since then it has fallen by 5.25% to 2.90%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2015 post peak low of 1.66%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 1.24%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Madison WI, Wisconsin, US

Rental vacancy rate in Wisconsin

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Madison

Date US Wisconsin Madison, WI
2016 5.89% 4.85% 2.90%
2015 5.85% 4.67% 1.66%
2014 6.32% 4.64% 2.19%
2013 6.49% 5.22% 3.37%
2012 6.77% 5.48% 3.44%
2011 7.40% 5.17% 3.85%
2010 8.17% 6.16% 6.58%
2009 8.43% 5.86% 4.19%
2008 7.86% 6.26% 7.74%
2007 7.87% 6.83% 7.61%
2006 7.70% 7.18% 8.15%
2005 7.74% 6.49% 6.55%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Madison, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Madison, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 16.64% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Madison Wisconsin Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Wisconsin 16.94% -0.14% -0.73%
Madison, WI 16.64% -0.80% -1.01%

Trends in Madison, WI Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Madison household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2013 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 17.66%. Since then it has fallen by 1.01% to 16.64%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Madison WI, Wisconsin, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Madison Wisconsin

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Madison Wisconsin

Date US Wisconsin Madison, WI
2016 20.43% 16.94% 16.64%
2015 20.63% 17.08% 17.45%
2014 20.89% 17.83% 17.63%
2013 20.78% 17.67% 17.66%
2012 20.65% 17.46% 17.32%
2011 20.70% 17.60% 17.37%
2010 20.50% 17.51% 17.17%
2009 20.12% 16.99% 17.31%
2008 19.00% 16.22% 15.58%
2007 18.66% 15.97% 16.04%
2006 18.90% 16.19% 15.92%
2005 18.89% 16.38% 16.53%

Renter Fraction in Madison Wisconsin

You can calculate the renter fraction in Madison in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Madison as a fraction of total Madison households. In 2016 37.56% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Madison Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Wisconsin 33.34% +0.13% +0.52%
Madison, WI 37.56% -1.83% -1.88%

Trends in the Madison, WI Renter Fraction

The Madison household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 39.96% and is now 2.40% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Madison WI, Wisconsin, US

Fraction of renters in Madison

History of Madison Renter Fraction

Date US Wisconsin Madison, WI
2016 36.88% 33.34% 37.56%
2015 36.97% 33.21% 39.39%
2014 36.90% 33.40% 39.96%
2013 36.50% 32.82% 39.44%
2012 36.09% 32.71% 38.95%
2011 35.42% 32.15% 38.87%
2010 34.65% 31.30% 37.15%
2009 34.13% 31.02% 37.72%
2008 33.36% 29.87% 35.41%
2007 32.80% 29.92% 32.50%
2006 32.73% 29.55% 34.35%
2005 33.10% 29.88% 38.09%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.