Home About Latest Browse RSS Advanced Search

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Working Papers
The measurement and determinants of single-family house prices
Joe Peek
James A. Wilcox
Abstract

We assess the conceptual and empirical features of a number of house price series for the United States. We then calculate a measure of the net upgrading of the existing stock of houses that took place during the 1950-1989 period and adjust price indexes for this net increase in quality. Judgments about the trend, volatility, and determinants of house prices are shown to depend crucially on which price series is used. The Freddie Mac upgrade adjusted house price measure rose 5.7% over the past four decades, falling 7.7% from 1950 through 1970 before rising 14.5% from 1970 through 1989. Real house prices declined in the early 1980s as a result of the increase in real after-tax interest rates and the decline in real materials costs. The recovery of house prices in the late 1980s is attributed to lower unemployment and real after-tax interest rates and particularly to demographic factors associated with the aging of baby boomers.


Download Full text
Cite this item
Joe Peek & James A. Wilcox, The measurement and determinants of single-family house prices, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Working Papers 91-7, 1991.
More from this series
JEL Classification:
Subject headings:
Keywords: Housing
For corrections, contact Catherine Spozio ()
Fed-in-Print is the central catalog of publications within the Federal Reserve System. It is managed and hosted by the Economic Research Division, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Privacy Legal