Thought Leadership

About Thought Leadership

At Zillow Group, we strive to use our data and research to empower consumers, industry professionals, policymakers, government agencies and academics to better understand the housing market and make more informed decisions. Our economic research teams at ZillowTruliaStreetEasy and HotPads leverage our unparalleled property data on more than 110 million homes across the country to add value and context to public and policy conversations around housing.

Zillow Group is also a passionate advocate for making all data, and particularly consumer-relevant data, freely available to everyone to use. For this reason, Zillow publishes dozens of core metrics to empower Americans to conduct their own research. Zillow also supports government, academic and institutional researchers through the Zillow Transaction and Assessment Dataset (ZTRAX) program, which provides free access to Zillow’s raw public records and assessor data.

Our Experts

Svenja Gudell
Chief Economist, Zillow Group
Dr. Svenja Gudell is the Chief Economist of Zillow Group. She joined the company in 2011 and leads a collection of industry-leading economic research teams from Zillow, Trulia and HotPads — all recognized voices for impartial, data-driven analysis of housing and the economy. Under Svenja’s leadership, Zillow Group’s economic research teams produce regular reports on housing trends for hundreds of markets nationwide, with data often available down to the ZIP-code level. In addition, the teams publish original research on various real estate topics, ranging from rental and mortgage affordability, negative equity and forecasting, to policy, generational and mortgage research. Svenja has presented to various federal agencies and at numerous industry conferences and has been widely quoted in national and local media.

Prior to joining Zillow Group, Svenja did economic, financial and strategy consulting for Analysis Group and was an Assistant Economist in the Research Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Svenja has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Rochester, a Master of Arts in economics from New York University, a Master of Science in business administration from the University of Rochester, and a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Rochester.

Skylar Olsen
Director, Economic Research and Outreach, Zillow
Skylar joined Zillow in the summer of 2012 and investigates the cross-sectional relationships between home values and community features such as school quality and walkability. She also creates many of Zillow’s real estate indices and metrics, including the Buyer-Seller Index and the Buy-Rent Breakeven Horizon. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington specializing in econometrics and environmental economics. Her academic work focused on using housing data to explore environmental issues. Prior to her work at Zillow, Skylar was honored for teaching excellence by the University of Washington.

Alexander Casey
Policy Advisor, Zillow
Alexander joined Zillow as a policy analyst in the summer of 2016. He works on the Economic Research team, using Zillow’s research to contribute to current public policy concerning housing and the overall economy. Alexander is involved with a variety of policy issues including housing assistance, land use, finance and transportation. Prior to joining Zillow, Alexander worked at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office on consumer protection issues. Alexander holds an M.P.A. from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota.

Cheryl Young
Senior Economist, Zillow Group
Cheryl is a Senior Economist at Trulia. Prior to Trulia she was a consultant with the World Bank’s Urban Development Unit. She has also served as an associate with Bankable Frontier Associates’ housing finance practice, led a housing research program at the Centre for Development Finance — a think-tank in India, and was a project manager for New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from U.C. Berkeley, a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies from Columbia University.

Issi Romem
Senior Director, Housing and Urban Economics
Issi Romem is the Chief Economist at Trulia. He leads Trulia’s Housing Economics Team, where he provides industry insights on both national and local housing market trends, demographic shifts and economic policies that impact buyers and renters. He is currently a fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also taught as an adjunct professor of economics. For more than four years, Issi served as the chief economist at BuildZoom, where he led research around metropolitan growth patterns, housing and construction trends. He earned his Master of Arts in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, graduating Magna Cum Laude, as well as a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Grant Long
Senior Economist, StreetEasy
As senior economist, Grant and his team use data to better understand the New York City real estate market and its interactions with the local, national, and global economies. Grant serves as StreetEasy’s spokesperson on real estate trends and produces a monthly report on the New York City real estate market. Grant is also a member of the Economic Advisory Panel to the NYC Office of Management and Budget and an industry advisor to the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline, a workforce development partnership organized by the NYC Mayor’s office. Grant joined StreetEasy in early 2017 from Capital One, where he was a senior data scientist. Prior to that, Grant served on the staffs of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He holds a Master’s degree in Data Science from New York University, a Master’s Degree in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, and Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Grant is a CFA Charterholder.


Zillow Group is proud to partner regularly with U.S. government agencies, policymakers, academics and housing advocates to support their work with unbiased data and research. Our research teams regularly provide policymakers and U.S. government agencies with custom data, analysis and housing market briefings to inform policy development or support their research. We also collaborate often with national organizations, academic institutions and local housing authorities to leverage our data in new ways and raise awareness about inequities in the housing market.

Examples of Previous Partnerships & Engagements:

  • President Barack Obama
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina
  • U.S. Rep. Denny Heck of Washington
  • U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida
  • U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado
  • U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee
  • U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia
  • Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan
  • HUD Secretary Julian Castro
  • HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan
  • National Fair Housing Alliance
  • National Urban League
  • Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
  • Seattle Housing Authority

To learn more, contact us.

Past Events

Priced Out: How Rising Rents Impact Homelessness Across America  

Dec. 11, 2018 | Newseum | Washington, D.C.

Over the past five years, rental affordability challenges have become acute in many cities, increasing pressure on households experiencing housing insecurity and driving many into homelessness. New research supported by Zillow Group and building on our prior work, illuminates this challenge by revealing how different communities experience rent pressures; quantifying the true scale of the nation’s homeless challenge; and identifying the tipping point at which the rent burden becomes more deeply tied to rising homelessness.

On Dec. 11, 2018, Zillow Group hosted a roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C. to present this new research. During the event, expert panelists unpacked the effects of high rent in different communities across the U.S., discussed potential lessons from programs that support Veterans experiencing homelessness and explored federal policy options for addressing these challenges.

Event Agenda

Speaker Biographies

Watch the entire program below

Zillow Group Research

Zillow Group’s economic research teams produce a wide range of analysis about housing and the economy. You can visit their research pages here: ZillowTruliaStreetEasy and HotPads.

Zillow is also a passionate advocate for making all data, and particularly consumer-relevant data, freely available to everyone to use. For this reason, Zillow publishes dozens of core metrics representing data for more than 70,000 regions on the Zillow Data Portal.  For more sophisticated researchers, Zillow operates the Zillow Transaction and Assessment Dataset (ZTRAX) program, which provides free access to Zillow’s raw public records and assessor data to government, academic and institutional researchers. If you are a government agency or department and would like more information about this program, contact us here.

Contact Us

To reach Zillow Group’s Government & Community Relations team, contact us here.