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Housing and Economic Indicators

Statistics, Data and Resources for Housing and Economic Indicators

Housing and Economic indicators are the leading signs of the health of the economy. Investors and economists analyze these signs in order to make predictions for the future. Housing starts and existing sales have a direct and critical impact on the economy. Economic indicators are the statistics about a nation's economy. Government agencies, non-profits and private companies put together countless reports, forecasts, models and other analysis each year based on these indicators.

Housing Statistics

Distribution of Housing Unit Occupancy, by Area

2005 vs. 2012

Report Highlights Northeast Midwest South West
Occupancy of Unit 2005 2012 2005 2012 2005 2012 2005 2012
Year-round Vacant 7.60% 8.80% 9.50% 9.70% 11.70% 12.30% 7.90% 9.000%
Hold-off Marketing 3.70% 4.50% 3.70% 5.00% 6.10% 6.90% 3.60% 4.80%
Seasonal Vacant 4.00% 3.90% 2.80% 2.80% 2.90% 2.90% 2.80% 2.90%
Occupied 88.40% 87.30% 87.70% 87.50% 85.40% 83.90% 89.30% 88.10%
Source: United States Census Bureau

Physical Characteristics - Occupied Housing Units: 2011

Characteristics % of Total Occupied Unit
One Unit, Detached 64.20
Cooperative or Condo 7.00
Using Well Water (primary) 12.00
Pubic Sewer 80.60
Heating Facility with Electricity 35.30
Heating Facility with Piped Gas 50.40
Heating Facility with Other 14.30
Central Air Facility 65.90
Warm-air Furnace (Main Heating) 64.10
Unsage Drinking Water 8.10
Working Carbon Monoxide Detectors 41.60
Seperate Dining Room 47.80
Swimming Pool 15.70
Wheelchair-accessible Ramps 0.60
Leakage from Outside Structure 10.80
Note: The Percentages are mutually exclusice. Source: 2011 American Housing Survey

Facts About New Housing in 2012

Facts % of Total Occupied Units
Housholds with Children 31%
Rooms Used for Business 32%
Have 3+ Vehicles 27%
Have a Usable Fireplace 46%
Have 4+ Bedrooms 29%
Have 2+ Completed Bathrooms 65%
Have an Energy Star Refrigerator 42%
Note: Percentages are mutually exclusive. Source: 2011 American Housing Survey

Distribution of Housing Unit Occupancy, by Area

2005 vs. 2012 (States with Lowest %)

States (2005) Percentage (%) States (2012) Percentage (%)
Alabama 73.2 District of Columbia 73.2
Wyoming 73.4 New York 73.4
Vermont 73.6 California 73.6
Maine 73.8 Hawaii 73.8
Michigan 74.5 Nevada 74.5
Delaware 74.8 Rhode Island 74.7
Mississippi 74.8 Washington 74.8
South Carolina 74.9 Texas 74.8
New Hampshire 79.0 Alaska 79.9
West Virginia 73.8 Massachusetts 79.0
Formula: Homeownership Rate = owner occupied housing units divided by total occupied units multiplied by 100. Source: United States Census Bureau

Housing statistics within the U.S. are analyzed to forecast trends in the economy. This data is presented on many levels including on regional, state and/or national levels. Below are some resources providing this analysis:

  • The National Association of REALTORS: This organization, otherwise known as "The Voice for Real Estate" currently represents more than 1 million members.
  • United States Census Bureau: This government agency's webpage provides statistics such as historical housing data, rental data, multifamily housing, homeownership and comparability of housing data from different sources.
  • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): This organization provides a comprehensive look into the economic data and statistics behind the home building industry.
  • HousingEconomics.com: One of the leading informational sources for America's Housing Industry, this site offers forecasts, trends and analytical data on the housing market.
  • Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA): This division of the Department of Commerce is one of the nation's leaders in broadcasting national economic indicators and oversees the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): Otherwise known as Canada's national housing agency, this government-owned entity now provides data on mortgage-backed securities, the latest housing research, and policies and programs within Canada's housing market.
  • British Columbia Statistics: This organization is the leader in statistical data in the province of British Columbia, Canada, boasting the largest amount of statistical services and expertise in the nation.
  • Metro Dataline: Part of the Mid-America Regional Council, Metro Dataline provides economic and housing data for the greater Kansas City area.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD): Based in Paris, this organization's goal is to improve the economic and social situation of humanity; measuring global trends and analyzing data is part of their research and mission.
  • Trading Economics: This international company is a global provider of historical data, exchange rates and other economic trends.

Housing Market Data

Facts About Housing in 2012

Facts Number of Homes/Units
Single family homes build 483,000
Single family homes sold 368,000
Multifamily homes build 166,000
Multifamily buildings completed 9,000
Source: United States Census Bureau

The housing market comprises of the selling and buying of homes within a particular country (and can be further broken down by county, state or region.)

Performance of the housing market has a direct and critical impact on the economy. You'll find the latest market information from the sources below.

  • Housing Views: This housing market blog run by Standard and Poor's produces and presents analytical reports, commentary and other data regarding housing prices, home financing and many other housing topics.
  • Daily Finance: Daily Finance provides tools, information, statistical data and other analytical information to assist consumers with financial decisions.
  • Moody's Analytics: This leading organization produces and provides economic data, models and statistical forecasts on both the macro- and micro-economic scale.
  • British Parliament: U.K.'s highest legislative body provides data from the Bank of England on approved mortgages and house purchases, contributing to the housing indicator data for England.
  • Freddie Mac: Chartered by Congress, this organization's goal is aimed at stabilizing the housing market in the U.S. Their economic and housing research is compiled by professional economists including Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York: New York's federal reserve bank supplies data on the distribution of house prices by county as well as geographic distribution of year-over-year house price changes.
  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: This organization is responsible for creating in-depth analyses of how district economies are likely to fare in response to certain economic and housing indicators.
  • Center for Research Globalization (CRG): Montreal-based research organization publishes books and serves as a "think tank" on vital Canadian economic and housing issues.
  • Bank of England: Founded in 1694, the Bank of England is responsible for creating and publishing Quarterly Bulletin housing market articles.
  • PR Newswire: PR Newswire publishes current and relevant economic studies, articles and data including the yearly "U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook."

Economic Indicators for Do-It-Yourself Investors

Money Market From 2000 to 2010

Availability of M1 and M2 in the Market (in billions of $)

Time Period M1 M2
2000 1,087.90 4,900.40
2001 1,182.90 5,403.20
2002 1,220.40 5,742.00
2003 1,306.60 6,039.60
2004 1,374.90 6,390.90
2005 1,375.90 6,656.80
2006 1,366.50 7,042.00
2007 1,374.30 7,450.50
2008 1,604.90 8,183.80
2009 1,695.80 8,487.40
2010 1,836.70 8,782.40
Note: M1 = Cash and checking account deposits. M2 = M1 + savings and money market accounts. Source: The Federal Reserve System

Historical Consumer Price Index For All Urban Consumers (Cpi-U)

(2005 to 2012)

Item Group 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Food And Beverage 196.80 201.80 210.04 210.23 215.95 219.18 225.67 229.60
Alcoholic Beverage 196.40 201.10 208.70 217.98 222.08 224.22 227.34 231.57
Housing 198.30 204.80 210.93 216.07 215.52 216.14 220.19 224.03
Apparel 117.50 118.60 118.26 117.08 119.36 118.07 123.47 125.66
Transportation 172.70 175.40 357.66 164.63 188.32 198.28 208.59 211.85
Medical Care 328.40 340.10 357.66 367.13 379.52 391.95 405.63 418.65
Recreation 109.70 110.80 117.71 113.67 113.21 112.35 113.50 114.44
Education 157.60 167.60 176.93 186.92 195.67 203.34 212.75 220.82
Communication 84.30 83.10 83.28 84.74 84.81 83.91 82.99 82.50
Energy 180.00 185.20 217.51 217.51 202.30 217.95 232.30 233.47
Note: All the figures are comparative to the Base Year which is hold as 100 e.g. Food and Bever­age Price in 2005 is 196.80 percent higher that that of the Base Year. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Select Online Articles and Reviews

U.S. International Reserve Position

From 2004 to 2013

Time Frame (End of Year) Reserve Amount (in Millions of Dollars)
2013 $114,893
2012 $149,532
2011 $148,623
2010 $128,279
2009 $82,768
2008 $75,704
2007 $67,062
2006 $67,814
2005 $76,756
2004 $77,110
Note: U.S. Department of Treasury

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services

Total volume in millions of $

Type Year Total Goods Services
Exports 2011 $2,112,825 $1,495,853 $616,973
Exports 2012 $2,210,585 $1,561,239 $649,346
Imports 2011 $2,669,663 $2,239,991 $429,672
Imports 2012 $2,745,240 $2,302,714 442,527
Source: United States Census Bureau

Economic Indicators Research Guides

Finding solid resources with sound data to analyze economic indicators is simple when the sources are good. The following economic indicator guides come from some of the most reliable institutions in the world. These guides include statistical data, up-to-date national and international data, dictionaries and more.

  • Department of Economics at Williams College: Williams College has renowned and comprehensive economics department; their research and data is a great resource for economic data and other research.
  • LexisNexis: LexisNexis, one of the world's leading providers of online databases for research of all markets, provides Zimmerman's Research Guide, which includes economic data, statistics and indicators.
  • European University Institute (EUI): The European University Institute, an international postgraduate and postdoctoral research and teaching institute, produces an economic guide with resources from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Census and Thomson Reuters, among many others.
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW): This institute, a global leader in the development and support of international accountants, boasts a guide complete with economic indicators from government and other professional entities.
  • Columbia University Libraries and Information Services: Columbia's guide to economic indicators includes "How to make sense of economic indicators," a dictionary of terms and a handbook of key economic indicators.
  • Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research: Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research's mission is to aid students with advanced and evolved data that assists in their studies and learning.
  • University of Minnesota Libraries: This library network is noted for being a statewide asset and provides intellectual resources through a wide range of books and virtual aids – such as this business and economic statistics guide.
  • University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Libraries: The University of Texas' library system contains a thorough page on U.S. economic data, including links to organizations like the STAT-USA and reports such as the Economic Report of the President.
  • National Association of REALTORS: The National Association of Realtors' guide page is titled, Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics.