A Simple Alternative House Price Index Method
FAME Working Paper No. 119
33 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2004
Date Written: November 2004
This paper presents the Sale Price Appraisal Ratio (SPAR) method for constructing house price indexes. The method, which uses ratios of transaction prices and previous appraised values to build up an index, has been applied since the early 1960s to produce semi-annual price indexes for regions and cities in New Zealand. We compare the official New Zealand indexes for three urban areas with repeat sales and hedonic indexes created from the same transactions data, and observe that the SPAR method produces an index very much like those produced by hedonic methods. Given the number of advantages and few disadvantages that we find for the SPAR method relative to the more traditional methods, we maintain that it should be considered by government agencies elsewhere when developing house price indexes.
Keywords: House price indexes
JEL Classification: R31
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