I feel this barely qualifies as an answer, but doesn't Shiller have house prices data on his webpage? Currently here.
Historical housing market data used in my book, Irrational Exuberance [Princeton University Press 2000, Broadway Books 2001, 2nd edition, 2005], showing home prices since 1890 are available for download and updated monthly: US Home Prices 1890-Present.
I don't have much experience with this data directly, and am only aware of it through Khandani, Merton, Lo (2013) ("Refinancing Ratchet Effect"), where they use this and many other data sources to construct a (very long) housing dataset for their simulation analysis.
Details of Case Shiller Series Construction methodology (from the end-notes of the 2006 edition for chapter 2):
Even though there were no regularly published home price indexes
before the 1960s, some economists were constructing indexes of home
prices that cover most of the years since 1890. We found home price
indexes from 1890 to 1934 and from 1953 to the present that used in
their construction some device to attempt to hold the quality of the
The nominal home price index 1890–1934 is from Leo Grebler, David M.
Blank, and Louis Winnick, Capital Formation in Residential Real
Estate: Trends and Prospects (Princeton, N.J.: National Bureau of
Economic Research and Princeton University Press, 1956). It is a
repeated-measures index based on a survey of homeowners in twenty-two
U.S. cities, who were asked to give the value of their home in 1934
and the date and price of the purchase of that home. Since it is based
on repeated measures of individual homes, the series is protected, in
contrast to the simple median price, from any bias from changes in the
mix of houses sold or of the increasing size and quality of newer
homes. Its shortcoming is that it depends on memories of the surveyed
homeowners for the earlier purchase price.
The nominal home price index that we constructed for 1934–53 is a
simple average over five cities of median home prices advertised in
newspapers. The cities are Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New
York, and Washington, D.C. My students collected the data from
microfilmed newspapers at the Yale University library, collecting
approximately thirty prices for each city and year, except that for
the fifth city, Washington, D.C., 1934–48, data came from a median
price series from E. M. Fisher, Urban Real Estate Markets:
Characteristics and Financing (New York: National Bureau of Economic
Research, 1951). The median series for 1934–53 does not make any
attempt to correct for home quality change, as do the indexes we use
for the other subperiods. Improvement in home size and quality gives
median home price an upward bias, and this is why I avoided using
median price outside the 1934–53 interval.
The nominal home price index for 1953–75 is the home purchase
component of the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Bureau of Labor
Statistics collected data on home prices for those years for homes
that are held constant in age and square footage. In the 1980s they
discontinued this index when they switched to a rental equivalence
basis for housing in the CPI. They made this change to correct what
was considered a conceptual flaw in the housing component of the CPI:
the CPI is supposed to be a price of consumption goods and services,
not of investment assets. For our purposes, however, the old home
purchase component is acceptable. There are, however, some
shortcomings in the home purchase component, notably that it is based
only on homes with certain government-subsidized mortgages, and the
procedure that the Bureau of Labor Statistics used to correct for
changes in the ceiling on these mortgages was not optimal. See J. S.
Greenlees, “An Empirical Evaluation of the CPI Home Purchase Index
1973–8,” American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association Journal,
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, 17 (1982):
The nominal home price index for 1975–87 is the U.S. home price index
published by the U.S. Office of Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO),
which is available on their Web site. It is a repeat sales index, and
thus controls for quality change. The nominal home price index for
1987–2004 is the repeat-sales U.S. home price index produced by Fiserv
CSW, Inc., successor to Case Shiller Weiss, Inc.
Since 1987, the CSW and the OFHEO series have shown very similar
patterns through time, though the sharpness of the increase is
slightly more pronounced in the CSW series, an observation we
attribute to the fact that our series is based only on actual sales,
while the OFHEO series also uses both actual sales and appraised
values as if they were sales. Appraised values are somewhat sluggish
to respond to new market conditions.