Issues in Housing Data Analysis
Part of the Advances in Urban and Regional Economics book series (UREC, volume 2)
Consider figures 2.1 to 2.4; between them these graphs illustrate many of the core analytical problems of housing economics. Figures 2.1a–2.1d show movements in real house prices across an illustrative sample of three countries, the USA, Japan and the UK. Although more formal tests will be presented later, casual observation suggests that neither the cycles nor the underlying trends are identical. The second graph shows differences between measures of national house prices in the USA and the UK. The diversity within the countries of measures that are supposed to capture the same variable is striking and is worrying; we might imagine that there are short-run differences between house price measures that are eliminated over time, but the differences appear to widen. Figure 2.3 graphs the ratio of house prices in South East England relative to the North. Again casual observation suggests that any long-run tendency for sub-national prices, at this spatial scale, to drift apart over time has been limited. Finally, figure 2.4 plots cycles in residential construction across a selection of European economies. It appears that cycles differ both in amplitude and in terms of timing. These features of the data give rise to the following key time-series issues:
— the stationarity of real prices,
— measurement errors and biases arising from different data construction methods,
— the extent of spatial convergence,
— cyclical co-ordination.
KeywordsMigration Europe Income Coherence Autocorrelation
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001