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Zillow launches rent index

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CORRECTION: The original version of this article contained a spelling error and has been corrected. Zillow's Yeng Bun wrote a post at the Zillow Real Estate Research Blog site describing the new Zillow Rent Index.Online real estate research and listing site Zillow launched a new rent index, the counterpart to its estimated home values index, on Tuesday. The inaugural release of the index shows that median rents rose 3 percent year over year in January. "We haven't had a good way to quantify what is happening with rental rates until now, and the inaugural Zillow Rent Index shows us a healthy and growing rental market across the majority of the country, even as home values continue to fall," said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. As with Zillow's "Zestimates," which are automated value estimates for homes generated by the company's algorithms (Zestimates incorporate actual sales information and a range of other data), the "Rent Zestimates" used for t...