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The housing bubble and a new approach to accounting for housing in a CPI

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  • Diewert, W. Erwin
  • Nakamura, Alice O.
  • Nakamura, Leonard I.

Abstract

Over the course of the recent house price bubble in the United States, the price of homes rose rapidly from 1999 Q4 to 2005 Q4 (11.3% annually as measured by the Case-Shiller index, and 8.4% annually as measured by the Federal Housing Financing Agency) but slowly as measured by owner equivalent rents (3.4%), so measured core inflation remained relatively docile during this period, since only rents are used to measure inflation for housing services in the United States. Over the last several decades, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has experimented with both rental equivalence and user cost approaches for accounting for owner occupied housing (OOH) services in the CPI. We explain the basics of these approaches, and outline the BLS experiences with using them. This assessment leads us to conclude that the time has come to try a new approach: the opportunity cost approach. We argue this approach has advantages over both the conventional rental equivalence and user cost approaches, though it embeds components of the measures for both those approaches and builds solidly on the research of Verbrugge and others at the BLS. Also, we take up empirical issues that must be faced regardless of which of the approaches discussed is adopted. We explain how the repeat-sales and various hedonic regression methods can be placed in a common framework, thereby facilitating understanding of the properties of and the tradeoffs between the methods. We also consider measurement complications that arise because the land and structure components of properties depreciate at different rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Diewert, W. Erwin & Nakamura, Alice O. & Nakamura, Leonard I., 2009. "The housing bubble and a new approach to accounting for housing in a CPI," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 156-171, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:18:y:2009:i:3:p:156-171
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Diewert, W. Erwin & Fox, Kevin J., 2016. "Kevin J. Fox Interview of W. Erwin Diewert," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2016-6, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Jun 2016.
    2. repec:eee:regeco:v:68:y:2018:i:c:p:204-225 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Brzezicka Justyna & Wisniewski Radosław, 2014. "Price Bubble In The Real Estate Market - Behavioral Aspects," Real Estate Management and Valuation, De Gruyter Open, vol. 22(1), pages 1-14, March.
    4. HILL Robert J. & STEURER Miriam & WALTL Sofie R., 2018. "Owner Occupied Housing in the CPI and Its Impact On Monetary Policy During Housing Booms and Busts," LISER Working Paper Series 2018-05, LISER.
    5. Garrido-Yserte, Rubén & Mañas-Alcón, Elena & Gallo-Rivera, Maria Teresa, 2012. "Housing and cost of living: Application to the Spanish regions," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 246-255.
    6. Diewert, W. Erwin, 2017. "Productivity Measurement in the Public Sector: Theory and Practice," Microeconomics.ca working papers erwin_diewert-2017-1, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2017.
    7. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox & Chihiro Shimizu, 2016. "Commercial Property Price Indexes And The System Of National Accounts," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5), pages 913-943, December.
    8. Diewert, Erwin & Shimizu, Chihiro, 2013. "A Conceptual Framework for Commercial Property Price Indexes," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2013-44, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Oct 2013.
    9. Liao, Wen-Chi & Wang, Xizhu, 2012. "Hedonic house prices and spatial quantile regression," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 16-27.
    10. Akcay, Belgin & Yucel, Eray, 2014. "Unveiling the House Price Movements and Financial Development," MPRA Paper 59377, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Oct 2014.
    11. Robert J. Hill & Miriam Steurer & Sofie R. Waltl, 2017. "Owner Occupied Housing in the CPI and Its Impact On Monetary Policy During Housing Booms and Busts," Graz Economics Papers 2017-12, University of Graz, Department of Economics.

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