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Constant-Quality House Price Indexes for Switzerland

  • Steven C. Bourassa
  • Martin Hoesli
  • Donato Scognamiglio
  • Philippe Sormani

The measurement of house price movements is a vital topic from both academic and practical perspectives and hence has been the focus of much research. There is almost unanimous consensus in the literature that house price indexes should control for the quality of properties; the most widely used methods to attain this aim are the hedonic and repeat sales approaches. The objective of this paper is to compare the Swiss house prices indexes published by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), which are constructed using medians of list prices as published in newspapers and on the internet, to hedonic indexes based on sale prices for the period 1985 to 2006. We find that the list price indexes exhibit quite a different price path than the hedonic indexes during the period. In particular, they appear to overstate price changes in housing markets. We attribute this, at least in part, to changes over time in the composition of the sample of properties on the market.

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Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 144 (2008)
Issue (Month): IV (December)
Pages: 561-575

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Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2008-iv-2
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  1. Englund, Peter & Hwang, Min & Quigley, John M., 2001. "Hedging Housing Risk," SIFR Research Report Series 2, Institute for Financial Research.
  2. Alan E. Gelfand & Mark D. Ecker & John R. Knight & C. F. Sirmans, 2004. "The Dynamics of Location in Home Price," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 149-166, 09.
  3. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behaviour: Evidence from the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2813, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Gatzlaff Dean H. & Ling David C., 1994. "Measuring Changes in Local House Prices: An Empirical Investigation of Alternative Methodologies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 221-244, March.
  5. Bourassa, Steven C. & Hoesli, Martin & Sun, Jian, 2006. "A simple alternative house price index method," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 80-97, March.
  6. Stefan Sebastian Fahrlaender, 2005. "Semiparametric Construction of Spatial Generalized Hedonic Models for Private Properties," Diskussionsschriften dp0507, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  7. Theodore M. Crone & Richard P. Voith, 1992. "Estimating house price appreciation: a comparison of methods," Working Papers 92-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Hoesli, Martin & Giaccotto, Carmelo & Favarger, Philippe, 1997. "Three New Real Estate Price Indices for Geneva, Switzerland," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 93-109, July.
  9. Gatzlaff, Dean H. & Haurin, Donald R., 1998. "Sample Selection and Biases in Local House Value Indices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 199-222, March.
  10. Bradford Case & Henry O. Pollakowski & Susan M. Wachter, 1991. "On Choosing Among House Price Index Methodologies," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 19(3), pages 286-307.
  11. Jonathan H. Mark & Michael A. Goldberg, 1984. "Alternative Housing Price Indices: An Evaluation," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 12(1), pages 30-49.
  12. Clapp, John M & Giaccotto, Carmelo, 1992. "Estimating Price Trends for Residential Property: A Comparison of Repeat Sales and Assessed Value Methods," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 357-74, December.
  13. Nalini Prasad & Anthony Richards, 2008. "Improving Median Housing Price Indexes through Stratification," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 30(1), pages 45-72.
  14. Stephen Malpezzi, . "Hedonic Pricing Models: A Selective and Applied Review," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 02-05, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
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