Housing represents the dominant land use in most U.S. municipalities and the largest personal investment for most households. Additionally, the quality and subsequent value of the community housing stock has a profound effect on public finances dependent on real estate tax revenues. Housing studies may be conducted on a comprehensive or targeted basis depending on need. As a result, the studies may include a variety of elements such as: a comprehensive housing/property data base, a projection of future housing need, an analysis of housing composition, an analysis of geographic patterns, an analysis of over and under supply by types and values, residential neighborhood analysis, and a comparison to other communities deemed similar in nature. For example, the development of a comprehensive housing data base provides a basis for examining geographic variations in valuation and exterior condition by type, and for determining patterns in sales and foreclosures. Further, housing profiles can be developed for neighborhoods and linked to other relevant data to determine relative levels of “neighborhood stress”.
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