CPS House value

Dear who may concern,
I have been trying to get the information for the value of house (regardless if it is self-reported or not) for each family or household. But I think the only way I can know the housing wealth is the HOUSRET - return to home equity, is this true?

Would there be any way to extract this sort of information regarding house value? (I know that ACS has a variable to measure this directly.)


I don’t believe this information is available in the ASEC microdata, but it may be possible to replicate the Census Bureau’s imputation process based on statistical matching to the American Household Survey as detailed in this report. House value is an ingredient in the calculation of HOUSRET.

I have a question related to this:

The 2020 ASEC codebook lists an estimate of the current property value (HPROP_VAL). See page 6A-10 here.

But I cannot find this variable in the ASEC variable list. Do you know why it’s not published?

You’re right, this variable does exist for ASEC samples. Apologies for missing this before. This is available through IPUMS CPS via the unharmonized variable UH_PROPVAL_A1.

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Thanks! Two follow up questions:

  1. Is there a reason why it hasn’t been harmonized yet?
  2. Will it be made available for years before 2012?

This variable wasn’t available in the original microdata prior to 2011, as noted on Page 17 of the 2012 ASEC documentation:

The household record has new items residing in positions 368 - 377: HPROP-VAL, THPROP-VAL, and I_HPROPVAL.

The question was asked in earlier years, so I don’t know why it wasn’t included in the microdata files released by the Census Bureau.

Due to the vast number of variables in the CPS, some have not yet been harmonized by IPUMS. Generally at IPUMS we prioritize harmonizing variables that have had code changes over time. This variable has been the same since its introduction in 2012, so there’s really no harmonization to be done at this point. In any case, I’ll share your interest in this variable with the IPUMS CPS team.

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Thanks @Matthew_Bombyk

This is very helpful