The Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER) is an industry-focused unit within the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies. Like the Runstad Center, it is housed within the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington. The WCRER was initially established by the Board of Regents at Washington State University to provide a bridge between academic study and research on real estate topics and the professional real estate industries. It served that mission at WSU until merging with the Runstad Center at the beginning of 2012.
At the Runstad Center the combined industry research conducted by the staff and students at WCRER can reinforce the academic research conducted by a distinguished faculty. WCRER works with the faculty to ensure their rigorous research is accessible and easily usable by industry participants, the media and the general public, regardless of their statistical sophistication.
Much of the work at WCRER is driven by the legislation which created the real estate research funding surcharge on real estate licensees, both new licenses issued and renewal.
RCW 18.85.741 states:
The purpose of a real estate research center in Washington state is to provide credible research, value-added information, education services and project-oriented research to real estate licensees, real estate consumers, real estate service providers, institutional customers, public agencies, and communities in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest region. The center may:
- Conduct studies and research on affordable housing and strategies to meet the affordable housing needs of the state;
- Conduct studies in all areas directly or indirectly related to real estate and urban or rural economics and economically isolated communities;
- Disseminate finding and results of real estate research conducted at or by the center or elsewhere, using a variety of dissemination media;
- Supply research results and educational expertise to the Washington state real estate commission to support its regulatory functions, as requested;
- Prepare information of interest to real estate consumers and make the information available to the general public, universities, or colleges, and appropriate state agencies;
- Encourage economic growth and development within the state of Washington;
- Support the professional development and continuing education of real estate licensees in Washington;
- Study and recommend changes in state statutes relating to real estate; and
- Develop a vacancy rate standard for low-income housing in the state.