A More Timely House Price Index
45 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 15, 2016
Using listings data, we construct a new repeat-sales house price index that describes house values at the contract date when the price is determined rather than the closing date when the property is transferred. We show that this difference in timing helps explain several puzzles about house prices including their strong short-term serial correlation and their weak correlation with stock prices and macroeconomic news shocks. In addition, we show that a variant of our index that relies exclusively on listings data for recent transactions accurately reveals trends in house prices several months before existing price indexes like Case-Shiller become available.
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