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Hedonic estimates of the cost of housing services: rental and owner-occupied units

Author

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  • Theodore M. Crone
  • Leonard I. Nakamura
  • Richard Voith

Abstract

Recent papers have questioned the accuracy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' methodology for measuring rent increases and changes in implicit rents for owner-occupied housing. We compare the BLS estimates of increases in rents and owner-occupied housing costs to regression-based estimates using data from the American Housing Survey. A hedonic approach that explicitly calculates capitalization rates produces a methodologically consistent measure of the rental cost of owner-occupied housing. We estimate that between 1985 and 1999 the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) may have understated the cumulative increase in rents. But any understatement was slight. On the other hand, we estimate that the CPI overstated the increase in the cost of housing services for homeowners by 0.4 percent on an annualized basis from 1985 to 1999.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2004. "Hedonic estimates of the cost of housing services: rental and owner-occupied units," Working Papers 04-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:04-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Linneman, Peter & Voith, Richard, 1991. "Housing price functions and ownership capitalization rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 100-111, July.
    2. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. W. Erwin Diewert & Kevin J. Fox, 1999. "Can measurement error explain the productivity paradox?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 251-280, April.
    4. Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 1998. "Measuring housing services inflation," Working Papers 98-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    5. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity, R&D, and the Data Constraint," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 347-374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Theodore M. Crone & Leonard I. Nakamura & Richard Voith, 2004. "The CPI for rents: a case of understated inflation," Working Papers 04-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    7. Linneman, Peter, 1980. "Some empirical results on the nature of the hedonic price function for the urban housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 47-68, July.
    8. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, October.
    9. David Genesove, 2003. "The Nominal Rigidity of Apartment Rents," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 844-853, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shimizu, Chihiro & Nishimura, Kiyohiko G. & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2010. "Residential rents and price rigidity: Micro structure and macro consequences," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 282-299, June.
    2. Hill, Robert J. & Syed, Iqbal A., 2016. "Hedonic price–rent ratios, user cost, and departures from equilibrium in the housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 60-72.
    3. Joshua Gallin, 2008. "The Long‐Run Relationship Between House Prices and Rents," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 36(4), pages 635-658, December.
    4. Morris A. Davis & Andreas Lehnert & Robert F. Martin, 2008. "The Rent‐Price Ratio For The Aggregate Stock Of Owner‐Occupied Housing," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(2), pages 279-284, June.
    5. Baltagi, Badi H. & Li, Jing, 2015. "Cointegration of matched home purchases and rental price indexes — Evidence from Singapore," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 80-88.
    6. W. Erwin Diewert, 2009. "Durables and Owner-Occupied Housing in a Consumer Price Index," NBER Chapters, in: Price Index Concepts and Measurement, pages 445-500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Joshua H. Gallin, 2004. "The long-run relationship between house prices and rents," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Sonia Gilbukh & Andrew Haughwout & Rebecca J. Landau & Joseph Tracy, 2023. "The price‐to‐rent ratio: A macroprudential application," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 51(2), pages 503-532, March.
    9. Bert M. Balk & W. Erwin Diewert & Alice O. Nakamura, 2009. "Introduction to price and productivity measurement for housing," Working Papers 09-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    10. Arthur Acolin & Richard K. Green, 2015. "Measuring Housing Adequacy in Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region," Working Paper 9387, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    11. Quan Gan & Robert J. Hill, 2008. "A New Perspective on the Relationship Between House Prices and Income," Discussion Papers 2008-13, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    12. W. Erwin Diewert & Alice O. Nakamura, 2009. "Accounting for housing in a CPI," Working Papers 09-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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    Keywords

    Housing; Housing - Prices;

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