Toward the latter part of every month--normally between the 23rd and the 28th--two important housing reports are issued. These are data on sales of new homes and existing residences. The source for the former is the U.S. Commerce Department; the figures for the latter are supplied by the National Association of Realtors—a private group.
At the midpoint of each month, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announce residential construction statistics for the prior month. The report includes figures on housing starts, building permits, and housing completions. It is one of the more closely watched surveys issued monthly, as housing is seen as critical to sustaining any economic expansion.