Real Estate

Eight Data Sources for Research on U.S. Housing Market.

The National Association of Realtors communicated today that its index of Pending Homes Sales increased 3.5 percent in February 2016. This indicator offers valuable insight for housing market analysis here in the United States. Indeed, the index makes up a leading indicator of housing market and forecasts since it is based on signed real estate contracts, including single family homes, condos and co-ops. The relevance of tracking this index’s evolution, and other metrics listed herein, stems from the fact that the Great Recession originated presumably from failures within the regulation of the housing market.

By Catherine De Las Salas

By Catherine De Las Salas

Although the Pending Homes Sales moved upwards on February, this news is contradicting the long term trend of Home Ownership rate, which has been steadily declining since the beginning of the Great Recession. This fact could be pointing to a fascinating development in the sector. Precisely, these type of contradictions is the reason the U.S. housing market has become so intriguing for researchers, especially since toxic Mortgage Backed Securities triggered the Great Recession in the United States.

There are several resources at hand for advancing research in U.S. Housing Market. The ones that monitors frequently are the following:

  1. Pending home Sales. Data Source: National Association of Realtors.
  2. Case-Shiller Home Prices Index. Data Source: S&P Down Jones Indices.
  3. House Price Index. Data source: U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency.
  4. Existing Home Sales. Data Source: National Association of Realtors.
  5. New Residential Construction. Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Housing Market Index. Data Source: National Association of Home Builders.
  7. Housing Vacancies and Home Ownership. Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Construction Put in Place. Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Moreover, some of the most trusted housing sector metrics were proposed after the Great Recession (2009). For those who consider that the Great Recession was not an exclusive event of banking leverage, complexity and liquidity (learn more on this issue here), the following measures may shed light on valuable research questions and answers. In other words, flaws in the supply side of the housing market –Mortgage lending banks- might have had an impact in spreading the Great Recession, but, more importantly, the demand side could have had a more relevant role in triggering the crisis. Thus, these data may help researchers in explaining when and why mortgages went underwater in the first place.

Finally, helps clients in understanding the economic relationship between a specific research and the United States’ Housing Market environment. Applied-Analysis can be either “Snapshots” of the Housing Market in U.S. Economy or historical trends (Time-series Analysis). Clients may simplify or augment the scope of their research by including these important variables in their models.

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