Zillow, Pulsenomics launching massive survey to track consumer real estate sentiment

Housing confidence index to provide insight into future home values and sales for US and 20 metros

In a move that could further cement Zillow’s status as an authority in real estate analysis, the search portal is partnering with research and consulting firm Pulsenomics LLC to publish survey-based consumer confidence indices the companies say will offer insights into attitudes that drive home prices and sales at the national and local market level.

The Zillow Housing Confidence Indices, to be published twice a year beginning March 13, will be based on telephone interviews with more than 10,000 consumers nationwide. Results will be tallied not only for the U.S. as a whole, but broken down for 20 local metropolitan areas, gauging consumer sentiment and expectations for the future performance of real estate and rental markets.

Housing bubble image via Shutterstock.
Housing bubble image via Shutterstock.

By comparison, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, which gauges consumer housing sentiment at the national level, polls 1,000 consumers.

The ZHCIs were developed by Pulsenomics, with Robert Shiller and Karl Case — the fathers of the widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices — serving as “honorary advisers.”

Shiller,¬†who won the 2013 Nobel Prize in economics, said the new survey-based indices will “add immeasurably to our understanding of housing markets, with unprecedented detailed information through time and across geographical areas.”

The surveys are designed to provide insight into changing attitudes toward housing and homeownership, serve as a leading indicator for home values and home sales, and provide a benchmark of consumer confidence in different areas and over time.

“We have always been mostly in the dark about fundamental drivers of home prices,” Shiller said in a statement. “Now, that will change.”

The metros areas covered by the ZHCIs — Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa and Washington, D.C. — are nearly identical to the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Composite index.

The Case-Shiller 20-City Composite does not cover three metros covered by the ZHCIs — Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Jose. The ZHCIs do not include three metros covered by the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite — Charlotte, N.C., Cleveland, and Portland, Ore.


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