This article examines a number of hypotheses that underpin the repeat-sales and hedonic approaches to the construction of housing price indices, as well as the practical problems associated with the implementation of either approach. We also examine a hybrid procedure that combines elements of both the repeat-sales and hedonic-regression techniques. For our sample of individual home sales in Oakland and Fremont California over an 18-year period, repeat-sales methods are subject to sample selection bias; the maintained assumption of time constancy of implicit prices of housing attributes is violated; the repeat-sales estimator is extremely sensitive to influential observations; and the usual method used to correct for heteroskedasticity in repeat-sale housing returns is inappropriate in our sample. Hedonic techniques are better suited to contend with index number problems per se, as they can accommodate changing attribute prices over time. They also appear to give rise to more reliable estimates of price indices, as unusual observations have less effect on estimated price indices. Drawbacks of the hedonic approach include the usual concern with omitted attributes, and their effect on the estimated price index.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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