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An evaluation of the methods used by European countries to compute their official house price Indices

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  • Robert J. Hill
  • Michael Scholz
  • Chihiro Shimizu
  • Miriam Steurer

Abstract

[eng] Since 2012, Eurostat requires the national statistical institutes (NSIs) in all European Union (EU) countries to compute official House Price Indices (HPIs) at a quarterly frequency. Eurostat recommends computing the HPI using a hedonic method. Most NSIs have followed this advice, although they differ in their choice of method. Some NSIs use stratified medians instead of hedonic methods. We evaluate the theoretical and empirical properties of both hedonic and stratified median methods. Of particular concern is the comparability of the HPIs across countries when computed using different methods. Our empirical comparisons use detailed micro-level data sets for Sydney and Tokyo, containing about 867,000 actual housing transactions. All the hedonic methods perform better than stratified medians. The hedonic methods generate quite similar results, except when applied to new dwellings in Tokyo. This finding shows that the choice of hedonic method can be important for smaller countries with less data. Also, the widely used hedonic repricing method becomes unreliable when the reference shadow prices are not updated frequently.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Hill & Michael Scholz & Chihiro Shimizu & Miriam Steurer, 2018. "An evaluation of the methods used by European countries to compute their official house price Indices," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques (INSEE), issue 500-501-5, pages 221-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:nse:ecosta:ecostat_2018_500-501-502_12
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.24187/ecostat.2018.500t.1953
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. W. Erwin Diewert & Saeed Heravi & Mick Silver, 2009. "Hedonic Imputation versus Time Dummy Hedonic Indexes," NBER Chapters, in: Price Index Concepts and Measurement, pages 161-196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert J. Hill & Daniel Melser, 2008. "Hedonic Imputation And The Price Index Problem: An Application To Housing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 593-609, October.
    3. Eurostat, 2013. "Handbook on Residential Property Prices Indices," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 17280.
    4. Mick Silver, 2011. "House Price Indices: Does Measurement Matter?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 12(3), pages 69-86, July.
    5. Diewert, Erwin, 2011. "Alternative Approaches to Measuring House Price Inflation," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2011-1, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 07 Jan 2011.
    6. W. Erwin Diewert & John S. Greenlees & Charles R. Hulten, 2009. "Price Index Concepts and Measurement," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number diew08-1, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert J. Hill & Alicia N. Rambaldi, 2022. "Hedonic Models and House Price Index Numbers," Springer Books, in: Duangkamon Chotikapanich & Alicia N. Rambaldi & Nicholas Rohde (ed.), Advances in Economic Measurement, chapter 0, pages 413-444, Springer.
    2. Robert Hill & Radoslaw Trojanek, 2020. "Strategic House Price Indexes for Warsaw: An Evaluation of Competing Methods," Graz Economics Papers 2020-08, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    3. Robert J. Hill & Miriam Steurer, 2020. "Commercial Property Price Indices and Indicators: Review and Discussion of Issues Raised in the CPPI Statistical Report of Eurostat (2017)," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(3), pages 736-751, September.
    4. W. Erwin Diewert & Kiyohiko G. Nishimura & Chihiro Shimizu & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2020. "Measuring the Services of Durables and Owner Occupied Housing," Advances in Japanese Business and Economics, in: Property Price Index, chapter 0, pages 223-298, Springer.
    5. Silver Mick, 2022. "Econometric Issues in Hedonic Property Price Indices: Some Practical Help," Journal of Official Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 38(1), pages 153-186, March.
    6. W. Erwin Diewert & Kiyohiko G. Nishimura & Chihiro Shimizu & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2020. "The System of National Accounts and Alternative Approaches to the Construction of Commercial Property Price Indexes," Advances in Japanese Business and Economics, in: Property Price Index, chapter 0, pages 181-219, Springer.
    7. Sabrina-Sigrid Spiegel, 2022. "Price Indices for Austrian municipalities - Hedonic models based on Microlevel Data," Graz Economics Papers 2022-01, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    8. Robert J. Hill & Norbert Pfeifer & Miriam Steurer & Radoslaw Trojanek, 2021. "Warning: Some Transaction Prices can be Detrimental to your House Price Index," Graz Economics Papers 2021-11, University of Graz, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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