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Frequency of Transaction and House Price Modeling

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This article examines the characteristics and price behavior of repeatedly transacted properties. Using data from four U.S. counties, we estimate hedonic price models of properties grouped by transaction frequency, and compare estimated standard deviations and estimated appreciation rates by group.

For each of four counties studied, we find that estimated house price appreciation is systematically higher among properties that transact more frequently. One possible explanation for this result is that purchasers make property improvements that are not adequately reflected in the available data.

We also find that estimated standard deviations of the disturbance term show a marked decrease as the frequency of transaction increases. Since frequently transacting properties are not found to be systematically more homogeneous than seldomly transacting properties, we do not attribute this to any increase in homogeneity for frequently transacting properties, but rather to the length of time elapsed between transactions of properties.

The findings of this article suggest that repeat-sales price models may need to be adjusted to account for cross-sectional variation in transaction probabilities---that is, the selectivity of the subsample of properties that transacted (or transacted repeatedly) during any finite study period.

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Case, B., Pollakowski, H.O. & Wachter, S.M. Frequency of Transaction and House Price Modeling. The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics 14, 173–187 (1997).

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  • price indices
  • repeat sales
  • hedonics