Can we rely on HOA trade group’s statistics?

Independent American Communities

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

Earlier this week some colleagues and I were discussing the number of Association Governed Developments exist in the U.S., and state by state.

The U.S. Census does not track population or housing units according to the presence of some sort of mandatory association. And most states do not require homeowners, condominium, cooperative, or other types of “community associations” to register.

But Community Associations Institute (CAI), a trade group representing management companies and other service providers, compiles statistics annually. The organization, through its offshoot research foundation, issues an annual report called the “Fact Book,” including a summary for the U.S. plus separate summaries for each of the states.

CAI presents itself as the singular authority on such matters.

But how reliable are CAI’s statistical reports? Of course, the numbers are estimated, but are they meaningful estimates? Do the statistics make sense and do all…

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