Thursday, July 29, 2010

Housing Affordability 1971-2009: Data Sources and Collection Methods

This post is part of the series Housing Affordability 1971-2009

This is the last post of the series on housing affordability. At the bottom you will find a link to the spreadsheet so you can download it and play with the data if you want. Before that, I'll just add a couple of comments about the data and where it came from.

Owner's equivalent rent, rent of primary residence and CPI less shelter
These came from The BLS CPI website, and you can find the unique ID of the series used at the top of the "CPI-U data" worksheet. The two re-based versions just adjust the numbers to make 1971 and 1984 equal 100. This is done by taking the original value and dividing it by the 1971 or 1984 value respectively.

Monthly and yearly new home prices
These prices come from the Census. (monthly, yearly)

Monthly and yearly mortgage rates
These are posted on the Freddie Mac website. No adjustment was made for points.

Median household income
I cheated a little with this one. The series I found for median household income was limited, so instead I used the third quintile of the entire data set provided by the census.. I compared the overlapping years and the differences were so small that I decided it was OK to do this. There is no reason for the third quintile to be any less accurate than the absolute median.

Median fair-market rents
This is the rent data I decided not to use, it came from a HUD survey. Apart from being noisy and the data collection methods (phone survey with random dialing) being of poor quality, the series only started at 1979. I don't know anyone that participates in phone surveys, and didn't trust the sample to be representative.

I am making the spreadsheet available to save others the pain of having to copy values from PDF files into a spreadsheet. I do not mind if you create derivative works with any of the charts, but I do ask that you give me a mention. A simple "Credit to Morally Bankrupt for data in spreadsheet format" with a link to this post so others can download the source spreadsheet would be sufficient.

Download the spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel format.

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