To respond to the problem of matching housing supply and demand, a research project was conducted to assess the utility and finality of a housing and real estate observatory for the canton of Fribourg (Switzerland) as well as to propose potential directions for its design. At the end of the day, the observatory should meet the needs and expectations of the various stakeholders. The main challenge of this service delivery lies in the identification,collection, analysis and aggregation of relevant and useful information for action. The aim of this paper is to present key dimensions to be considered when designing a housing and real estate observatory dedicated to a local market and to the specific needs of its users/providers.