UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Housing price indicies Subocz, Irene Ursula


The trend in house prices is of importance to governments, financial institutions and households. However, currently no proven reliable indicator of house prices exists. The lack of an accurate house price series is due to two major factors. First convenient and accurate data on house prices are not readily available and data collection from the Land Registry Office is both time consuming and costly. The second factor relates to the problem of changes in the quality of the series through time. This quality problem has two basic aspects. First, the quality of the index may be influenced by shifts in the distribution of sales between different values of homes. The second problem arises from the unique nature of real estate as to its’ location, age, condition, etc. Unlike other indices, there is no standardized unit of housing to which price quotations may, be reduced, thus the quality of the housing sold in each year will be different. In this study, the problems encountered in sampling and constructing a price index for the single family housing stock are identified and analyzed both conceptually and empirically. The conceptual examination involves a review of the literature as well as an analysis of the methodologies employed in the construction of the major housing indicies in use today. The empirical analysis is done through the construction of a price series for the eight rapidly growing cities and municipalities of the Greater Vancouver Regional District for the years 1949 to 1976. The indicies are based upon data obtained from the Land Registry Offices in British Columbia and are designed to be statistically representative of all sales for those areas during the study period. The analysis forms a basis for future research into housing indicies and in particular, provides a reliable benchmark series against which alternative measures of price changes can be tested.

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