U.S. Housing – Major Sources for Analysis and Data

The health and trends of housing market in the U.S. is on the minds of most commercial real estate professionals, economists, and policy makers. For example, “housing affordability” has been on The Counselors’ “Top Ten Issues” lists for some time. Multifamily specialists are looking beyond their well-known multifamily sources to better understand the world in which multifamily housing operates and rent/buy decisions occur.

Housing is a daunting field, given its very diverse set of subtopics from market performance to construction, to policy analysis. Fortunately, there is an abundance of data and perspectives on the housing industry – with much of it free. But where should one begin? The following is a guide to where to find many of the key data sets and publications on housing. All of the sources have national data and most have regional and/or metro-level data and analysis. Some sources cover smaller geographies.


  1. Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS)

Broad range of papers on housing including its signature annual report: “The State of the Nation’s Housing.”


  1. Urban Institute – Housing Division

Papers on variety of research topics on broad housing policy and market trends.


  1. Brookings Institution

Broad range of research pieces on housing challenges and solutions.


  1. S. Census Bureau

Extensive data on a wide variety of for-sale and for-rent housing topics.


  1. Fannie Mae

Basic housing forecasts, housing-related surveys, commentaries.



  1. Freddie Mac

Basic housing forecasts, housing-related surveys, commentaries.



  1. Federal Reserve Banks

Housing research programs vary by Federal Reserve Banks, but two notable ones are Atlanta (with its “Home Ownership Affordability Monitor” and more) and Dallas (International House Price Database).




  1. National Association of Realtors (NAR)

Trade association with wide array of mostly for-sale housing data and commentary. Current data is free; historical data usually free for members. One of key annual reports is Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.



  1. National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)

Trade association with papers, surveys, and commentaries covering wide range of topics mostly related to multifamily housing market and policy trends. Some research available only to members.



  1. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

Trade organization focused on for-sale housing construction. Commentaries cover a variety of broad housing economics and construction topics.



  1. ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing

Research center within the Urban Land Institute (commercial real estate trade association) focused on policy and affordability solutions. One of the signature research products is “Home Attainability Index.” Some research only available for ULI members.



  1. National Apartment Association (NAA)

Trade association with wide range of white papers on multifamily housing trends, policy, and operations. There are charges for some of the research papers.



  1. National Rental Home Council (NRHC)

Trade association focused on single-family rental housing (SFR). Research covers mostly standalone SFRs and their history, market trends, policies, etc.


  1. Principal Subscription-Based Reources

While the data is usually only available to subscribers, most of these sources release commentaries for free.

  1. RealPage – multifamily – https://www.realpage.com/analytics/ (blog site)
  2. CoStar – multifamily – https://www.costar.com/
  3. Yardi Matrix – multifamily – https://www.yardimatrix.com/
  4. Moody’s Analytics – multifamily – https://cre.moodysanalytics.com/products/reis/
  5. John Burns Consulting – single-family and multifamily – https://jbrec.com/
  6. RCLCO Real Estate Consulting – single-family and multifamily – https://www.rclco.com/
  7. CoreLogic, Inc. – rental and for-sale single-family –https://www.corelogic.com/category/intelligence/blogs/office-of-the-chief-economist/
  8. MSCI – multifamily – https://www.msci.com/our-solutions/real-assets