Real Estate: Basic Resources for Research

The following is a selective guide to basic research resources available at Avery Library, intended to give an overview of materials that may be useful in beginning research. To view other research guides, return to Avery Library Subject and Research Guides. Ask a librarian if you need reference assistance or have any further questions.

Resources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.

Land Use Data

Market Data

  • The Business and Economics Library has an extensive real estate collection. They have their own Real Estate guide.
  • The Jack Brause Real Estate Library at New York University has available several comprehensive subject reference guides under the categories of real estate profession, real estate market resources, geographic market information, and financing real estate projects and acquisitions.
  • Coop/condo directory of Manhattan.
    Avery Reserves AA50 C765, current edition only
    Updated annually, this compendium features comprehensive data on cooperatives and condominiums in Manhattan. For easy access, individual buildings are listed chronologically by numbered streets, then alphabetically by named streets. Among the most important features of the directory are the current listings of the names, phone numbers and addresses of managing agents, sponsors (where applicable), board presidents and superintendents for each building.
  • Condo Sales Report.  
    Avery  AA9127 N4 C753  1984-2010.
    A compendium of information on every open market sale in every condominium in New York City and lists sales prices, sale dates, square footage of units, price-per-square-foot and number of rooms - on a unit-by-unit basis. Floor plans of individual units and sales statistics for the prior six months are also included. A 12-month sales summary index is available.
  • Directory of Manhattan office buildings.
    Avery Reserves AA6230 C954 F, current edition only
  • Manhattan Cooperative and Condominium Directory.
    Avery Reserves AA50 M3 F, current edition only
  • Real estate directory of Manhattan.
    Avery Reserves AA50 R24, current edition only


Research Databases

  • Custom Search
    Search real estate topics in a variety of pre-selected databases under these suggested “Quick Sets”:  General/Multidisciplinary;  Architecture/Planning;  Business.
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers
    Historical New York Times with Index  1851-2008
    Historical New York Amsterdam News  1922-1993
    Historical Wall Street Journal  1889-1994
  • Real Estate Record and Builders Guide
    The Real Estate Record was a weekly report of building activity in New York City and its environs. These websites contain fully digitized volumes, ranging from Vol. 1, 1868 to Vol. 110, 1922.
  • New York Real Estate Brochure Collection
    The collection consists of over 9,200 advertising brochures, floor plans, price lists, and related materials that document residential and commercial real estate development in the five boroughs of New York and outlying vicinities from the 1920s to the 1970s.
  • ULI Development Case Studies
    Access to more than 300 detailed case studies of completed projects ranging from low-income housing to mixed-use downtown developments to commercial and industrial projects. The case studies provide photographs and site plans, information on costs and rents, innovative features and strategies of the project, and an explanation of the entire development process. It covers projects from 1985 to the present. Thirty new case studies are added every year.
  • Jack Brause Library
    Located within the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate at 11 West 42nd Street, is devoted exclusively to the subject matter of the building industry and is the most comprehensive facility of its kind. It is a reliable source of information covering all aspects of the real estate and construction industries, including magazines, journals, market reports, statistical and economic data, books, maps, and specialized databases. The collection emphasizes the New York metropolitan tri-state area, and includes extensive information on U.S. national markets and some international markets.
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI)
    Nonprofit research and education organization representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service. 
  • National Association of Realtors
    Monthly report on the residential real estate market. Statistics on sales and prices of existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops for the nation and the four regions. Other monthly reports include the Pending Home Sales Index and the Housing Affordability Index. The association also produces state-by-state existing home sales and metro area home prices on a quarterly basis.
  • Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
    The Real Estate Board is made up of the following divisions:

The Owners & Builders Division: consisting of several committees, this division’s members are deeply involved in every area of public policy touching on the construction process. The Board’s staff maintains close ties with various government agencies and can assist members with bureaucratic obstructions.

The Commercial Brokerage Division: consisting of 10 rental conditions committees whose members study and exchange information on demands for space, prevailing market rates and neighborhood trends. See below for descriptions of the Commercial Brokerage Committees.

The Residential Brokerage Division: consisting of 15 committees dealing with issues regarding the sale or lease of residential property, this division’s ranks include principals and managers of residential firms, residential brokers and salespersons. See below for descriptions of the Residential Brokerage Committees.

The Management Division: consisting of leading commercial and residential property managers and advocates on building codes and regulatory issues.

The Allied and Associates Division: composed of companies and individuals performing services and/or providing products for the real estate industry

The Institutional Owners Division: gives banks, investment houses, insurance companies and pension funds an opportunity to shape public policies than strengthen the city’s real property market.

Finding Columbia Real Estate Theses

  • Real Estate Development theses are not cataloged by subject in CLIO.
  • To find Real Estate Development theses in CLIO, do a search on an author or title if known.
  • If the author or title is not known, do a basic keyword search of "real and estate and columbia and thesis." This search will bring up a list of all the theses in alphabetical order beginning with numerals. If you prefer to browse these titles by date click on the drop down box labelled "Re-sort results by."
  • If there is a specific topic you are interested in, do the same keyword search but add one or two terms relevant to your interest. For example "real and estate and columbia and thesis and sustainable and development."
  • Because the catalog records for these theses have no subject headings, the only way to search specific topics is to add keywords that would be in the title.

Please see the Avery Library Classics homepage for information about requesting a Real Estate Theses.

Compiled by Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University Libraries.  Last updated August 2012.