The American Housing Survey (AHS) is a valuable source of information on houses and occupants over time. The AHS has several advantages over sales data for use in the creation of price indices: it is readily available, has frequent observations over time and space, has data from the late 1970s through the mid-1990s, includes houses that do not sell, as well as those that do, and has information on the occupants. The drawbacks include: a time lag between the interview and the release of the data, data suppression issues, owner-stated house values, and a lack of neighborhood information. In this study, we use the metropolitan version of the AHS, which has been supplemented with the original survey data as well as Census tract data for three cities over 14 years to examine whether the AHS can be used to create indices. Indices are estimated using hedonic, repeat valuation, and hybrid techniques, overcoming some of the problems inherent in the estimation of indices. We find that the data-suppression issues and the owner-stated house values are not problematic. The biggest drawback of the AHS is its lack of objective information on neighborhood quality.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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