My research involves the following questions:

  1. How common is it for a person who owns some real estate (house, farm, etc.) to sell/lose it?
  2. Conversely, how common is it for a person who owns no real estate to acquire some?

I guess it is not difficult to find data about deals of buying/selling real estate, but, such data will not help me answer the questions, because often a person sells a house in order to buy a new house etc.

I also guess it is not difficult to find general statistical data about percentage of real-estate ownership as a function of time, but this also does not help to answer the questions about losing/acquiring real estate.

Do you have an idea how I can get data for my research?

NOTE: I am interested in data from various countries.

  • it won't capture all purchases, but in the states you can get mortgage data down to very small areas.. asdfree.com/search/label/… Apr 30, 2014 at 11:03
  • @AnthonyDamico Thanks! But how does it help to answer question #1? Apr 30, 2014 at 17:07
  • perhaps find government survey with the question "how long have you owned this property" and extrapolate from there? acs, nychvs, ahs, cps might have that question Apr 30, 2014 at 18:12
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    Interesting! Here is what I found in nychvs: census.gov/housing/nychvs/data/2011/occ_11_long.pdf There are many details about the history of the current householder, for example, "Year Householder Moved into Unit", "Reason for Householder Moving", "Most Recent Place Householder Lived for 6 months or more", etc. However, I could not find data about whether the current renter once owned a house. This survey is more about the houses themselves than about the people living in them. May 1, 2014 at 5:26
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    @ErelSegalHalevi you may want the american housing survey. see github.com/ajdamico/usgsd for the code -- an accompanying blog post will be posted on asdfree.com next month. :) May 11, 2014 at 6:23

1 Answer 1


It would be difficult to track a single individual's home ownership pattern and reasons over time, primarily because these are considered personal data in most countries and would not be released as such.

However, in the U.S., the following datasets may be helpful:

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