Michael Carliner
Housing Economist

Report on Real Estate Mortgages: 11th Census 1890
Department of the Interior Census Office (published 1895, 90 pp, 8 MB)

Mortgages on Homes 1920
Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census (published 1923, 274 pp, 35 MB)
Includes data on housing as well as mortgages, and some data from 1890, 1900, and 1910.

Housing Statistics Handbook
U.S. Housing and Home Finance Agency 1948 (175 pp, 21MB)
    Compendium of production, stock, financing, and cost data assembled by predecessor of HUD

Statistical Abstract 1951: Construction and Housing
U.S. Bureau of the Census (72nd edition)

New Housing and Its Materials 1940-56
U.S. Department of Labor Bulletin 1231, August 1958 (66 pp, 4 MB)
    Until 1959, BLS was responsible for housing starts and related data

1956 National Housing Inventory
Census Bureau 1959
    Based on survey data collected in December 1956 and January 1957, these reports measured characteristics of
    the stock and components of change since the 1950 Census, with data for the nation, regions, and selected
        Volume 1 - Components of Inventory Change  
Volume 2 - Financing of Owner-occupied Properties
      Volume 3 - Characteristics of the Inventory

Construction Volume and Costs 1915-1956
Statistical Supplement to Construction Review
Joint Publication of Dept of Labor and Dept of Commerce (98pp, 6 MB)

Nonfarm Housing Starts 1889-1958
U.S. Department of Labor (published 1959, 41pp, 5 MB)
    This was the swan song of BLS housing starts data.  Note the file from Census listed below that radically revised
    these numbers.  This report included other characteristics, as well as numbers of starts, and provides a history of
    the data collection methodology

Estimates of Residential Building 1840-1939
Manuel Gottlieb (NBER 1965)
    Estimates of the number of units built in the U.S., based mainly on stock levels from decennial censuses and
    construction data from Ohio extrapolated to national totals.  
             In a separate article, Gottlieb estimated total construction 1850-1939 (including nonresidential)

Housing Starts Revised Estimates 1945-1958
    Supplement to monthly housing starts report issued June 1964 provides revised, greatly increased values for
    annual total nonfarm housing starts. For example, the estimate of 671,000 for nonfarm units started in 1946 was
    revised to 1,023,000.

Housing Starts: Background and Derivation of Estimates 1945-1982
David Siskind, Construction Review, May/June 1982, plus additional documentation
U.S. Department of Commerce (23 pp, 1 MB)
    Additional detail on the revision of 1945-58, plus data from 1900 with single family and multifamily separated.
michael@michaelcarliner.com                     240-899-0310