Data, tools, and API's for Property Data

38 Replies

Hi everyone,

I am wondering where you go for your data. I'm looking into multi-family units in Pittsburgh and I've been working with the Zillow API using the ZillowR package but keep running into a 501 error (Protected data is unavailable through API) with the `GetUpdatedPropertyDetails` function which returns critical info like price, number of bedrooms, number of units, etc. I would like to build a tool that will find properties that fit my criteria in a given region, then return some of the profitability metrics, sensitivity analysis, and so forth to help me quickly find suitable investment opportunities and return that into a nice report. If the data is available through the Zillow API, it's rather straightforward, but - in Pittsburgh at least - a lot of these properties have data protected. 

As long as API's are available, I'd like to avoid a scraping solution like this one, but maybe will have to go down that path and simply be careful about my requests. Also, I've looked into the Quandl API but have found the documentation to be terribly out of date making it very difficult to use in an automated fashion. 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

@Christian Hubbs , are you just looking for standard data you get from MLS or loopnet or more interesting data like natural and man-made hazards like flood, wildfire, radon, crime, superfunds, brownfields? If the latter, I came across this company via my day job that has pretty powerful stuff for the US. They have an API and are open to working with smaller operations. Not sure about individuals just using it for their personal purposes but who knows!

Subscribing - I'm looking for something like this too. I'm building an app to help analyze properties, but the 501 comes up all the time. I've been looking at some I found via ( but for testing I'm just sticking to Zillow. I can add other sources later.

Hi, I found this too.  Am I missing something?  I can't find any reference or documentation on the zillow api.  Are there any open source frameworks available for doing this, generally? Has anyone tried this one?

I don't know what you all are up to, but maybe there's enough of us to combine tech talent?  I am good with infrastructure.  But I'm new to real estate so I just want the API to start generating my own valuations.

Has anyone made progress with this? I’m down to combining forces if we want to do that! I’m good with big data tech but just data storage and access in general if we want to build a data warehouse for this data

Interesting discussions, what app/products are you guys trying to build? 

I'm trying to find neighborhood crime information and school ratings, any good data API to suggest?

I suspect if it's based on our location when registering our Zillow id, I have no problem when querying surrounding areas but always got the 501 errors when searching for an address that is on the other side of the country, also it could be related to the Zillow branding compliance guideline, trying to reach out to Zillow and see if I could get an answer.

So guys, I got a response from Zillow representative saying the GetUpdatedPropertyDetails API won't be able to access property records that are ON SALE on the MLS. And he also mentions the platform called Bridge (check it out here), Zillow is planning on moving its public records to this platform eventually.

Interesting. I was pulling data from Zillow AND attomdata and noticed the Zillow error, but attomdata also did NOT return info, and yes, the property was for sale. Wondering if there is some standard/policy/law being followed here.

@Stephen Blalock

Just curious what does the AttomData API provide that the free Zillow API doesn't cover? Is there any added benefits or advantages you see to using AttomData over Zillow?


Side question, do you guys have any recommendations on MLS data provider? I am looking for an MLS API that could give me real-time access on properties that are on sale.

@David Robertson

Attom Data had some basement information on a property that Zillow did not. However, Zillow does have this data (sometimes). Basically, trying to get complete coverage on property info by using more than 1 service and testing it out.

@Johnny Situ  

I have applied for access to the Bridge API (Zillow Group).

I'll report back here on my experience with it after I get approval (pending, but direct communication with them says I will get approval to use the api soon).

Originally posted by @David Robertson :

@Stephen Blalock

Just curious what does the AttomData API provide that the free Zillow API doesn't cover? Is there any added benefits or advantages you see to using AttomData over Zillow?


         The API is limited to 1000 requests per day. (they are open to increasing this limit but not without an audit of your infrastructure) . Also you are absolutely not allowed to store any data that you get with it. It is my understanding that the Zillow API is meant to be used as an add on to your own web site where you pull in and display additional property information from Zillow. Like Stephen was saying, Zillow tends to have some additional property information. A lot of the time, full scope building data ( bedrooms, bathrooms, furnace type ...) is not available on the county assessors site. This data only becomes available when the home is put up for sale which is why Zillow beats almost everyone in this category.

        AttomData has a few more data sources than zillow and they licence their data for resale similar to landgrid ( I'm sure you can just get a regular consumer grade API from them as well). Although I've never seen pricing from them, I imagine its pretty expensive.

        If you find that the Zillow API is not for you, check out homejunction or landgrid. They provide data on a county by county basis, but all the datapoints that you would get from zillow may not be there ( comps, estimates, recent sales, ...). What datapoints are you guys after?