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Historical Housing Data

Charles Sinclair Weeks
An apartment complex offering rentals with hot water and electric light
in New York City, 1938
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Historical housing data are provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and other agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae):

60 Years of Decennial Censuses. Selected housing characteristics data from the decennial census' housing files are available for the United States and each state from the U.S. Census Bureau's Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division (SEHSD). The tables include trend analyses with graphic illustration at the national level. These data were compiled from census housing reports and electronic data files. Because some housing concepts have changed over time, see notes at the bottom of tables for references to data comparability.

Construction History Tables. Historical residential construction data are available from the Census Bureau's Web Site. Historical data tables include housing units authorized by building permits, housing starts, and quarterly housing starts by purpose of construction and design type.

Historical Housing Vacancy and Homeownership Tables. Historical tables containing housing vacancies and homeownership data, including rental vacancy rates, are collected by the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey and Housing Vacancy Survey.

Housing Patterns. Over time, census and survey data illustrate trends and patterns in the nation's homeownership, characteristics of neighborhoods, and housing tenure. These data are available in the Census Bureau's housing data studies published by the SEHSD.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Thematic Maps. HUD frequently uses data collected by the Census Bureau to create thematic maps illustrating trends in housing vacancy, household income, and building permits.

Fannie Mae Research and Analysis. Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored enterprise created to expand the secondary mortgage market by securitizing mortgages in the form of mortgage-backed securities, allowing lenders to reinvest their assets into more lending and in effect increasing the number of lenders in the mortgage market by reducing the reliance on savings and loans. The association's housing market research includes information and analysis on the state of the housing and mortgage industries, consumer and demographic insights, economic and mortgage market analysis and trends, and forecasts.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: July 23, 2015