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Hedonic Price Indexes for Housing


  • Robert Hill

    (University of Graz)


Every house is different. It is important that house price indexes take account of these quality differences. Hedonic methods which express house prices as a function of a vector of characteristics (such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, land area and location) are particularly useful for this purpose. In this report I consider some of the developments in the hedonic methodology, as it is applied in a housing context, that have occurred in the last three decades. A number of hedonic house price indexes are now available. However, it is often difficult to see how these indexes relate to each other. For this reason the paper attempts to impose some structure on the literature by developing a taxonomy of hedonic methods, and then show how existing methods fit into this taxonomy. Also discussed are some promising areas for future research in the hedonic field, particularly the use of geospatial data and nonparametric methods for better capturing the impact of location on house prices. The main criticisms of the hedonic approach are evaluated and compared with the repeat sales and stratified median methods. The overall conclusion is that the advantages of the hedonic approach outweigh its disadvantages. Chaque maison est différente. Il est important que les indices de prix de l’ immobilier tiennent compte de ces différences de qualité. Les méthodes hédoniques qui expriment des prix de l'immobilier en fonction d'un vecteur de caractéristiques (telles que le nombre de chambres et salles de bains, superficie et l'emplacement) sont particulièrement utiles à cette fin. Dans le présent rapport je considère certains développements dans la méthode hédonique, telle qu'elle est appliquée dans un contexte de logement, qui se sont produits au cours des trois dernières décennies. Un certain nombre d'indices des prix hédoniques pour l’immobilier est maintenant disponible. Cependant, il est souvent difficile de voir comment ces indices sont liés les uns aux autres. C’est pour cette raison que ce papier tente d'imposer une structure sur la littérature en développant une taxonomie des méthodes hédoniques et montre alors comment les méthodes existantes s'insèrent dans cette taxonomie. Sont aussi discutées certains domaines prometteurs pour les futures recherches dans le domaine hédonique, notamment l'utilisation des données géo-spatiales et de méthodes non paramétriques pour mieux capter l'impact de l'emplacement sur le prix de l'immobilier. Certains des principaux critiques de l'approche hédonique sont évalués et comparés avec les ventes répétées et des méthodes stratifiées médians sont aussi discutées. Dans l'ensemble, on conclut que les avantages de l'approche hédonique l'emportent sur ses inconvénients.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Hill, 2011. "Hedonic Price Indexes for Housing," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2011/1, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2011/1-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Philippe Bracke, 2015. "House Prices and Rents: Microevidence from a Matched Data Set in Central London," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 403-431, June.
    3. Luke Samy, 2015. "Indices of House Prices and Rent Prices of Residential Property in London, 1895-1939," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _134, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    4. Luke Samy, 2015. "Indices of House Prices and Rent Prices of Residential Property in London, 1895-1939," Economics Series Working Papers Number 134, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Ismir Mulalic & Holger Rasmussen & Jan Rouwendal & Hans Henrik Woltmann, 2017. "The Financial Crisis and Diverging House Prices: Evidence from the Copenhagen Metropolitan Area," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-084/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Jéssica Fernanda Castaño Lavado. & Miguel Ángel Morales Mosquera, "undated". "Revisión Metodológica de Índices de Precios de la Vivienda," Temas de Estabilidad Financiera 81, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    7. Mick Silver, 2012. "Why House Price Indexes Differ; Measurement and Analysis," IMF Working Papers 12/125, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Jessica Castaño & Mariana Laverde & Miguel Ángel Morales Mosquera, "undated". "Índice de Precios de la Vivienda Nueva para Bogotá: Metodología de Precios Hedónicos," Temas de Estabilidad Financiera 078, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    9. Ghysels, Eric & Plazzi, Alberto & Valkanov, Rossen & Torous, Walter, 2013. "Forecasting Real Estate Prices," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    10. Du The Huynh & Richard B. Peiser, 2016. "From Spontaneous to Planned Urban Development and Quality of Life: the Case of Ho Chi Minh City," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 11(4), pages 1357-1377, December.
    11. repec:eee:touman:v:46:y:2015:i:c:p:375-385 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Schöni, Olivier, 2014. "Asymptotic properties of imputed hedonic price indices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64500, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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