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 European Commission > Eurostat > Conferences > Introduction > 2009 > Eurostat-IAOS-IFC Conference on Residential Property Price Indices

Residential Property Price Indices


Eurostat-IAOS-IFC Conference on


Residential Property Price Indices


Basel, Switzerland, 11-12 November 2009

The Statistical Office of the European Communities – Eurostat; the International Association for Official Statistics – IAOS; and the Irving Fisher Committee on Central Bank Statistics – IFC, are organising a conference on ‘Residential Property Price Indices’ at the Bank for International Settlements, Basel, Switzerland on November 11-12, 2009.


This international conference will bring together experts from national statistical institutes, central banks, academics and private sector. The objective is to discuss the uses of residential property price indices (RPPI), the practical and theoretical basis for compiling such data and how statistical organisations – both private data providers and official statistics – should address various methodological and compilation issues. Drawing on the networks of Eurostat, the IAOS and IFC, the conference aims at promoting a global dialogue amongst different stakeholders. The conference will contribute to a Eurostat-led project aimed at preparing an International Statistical Handbook on Residential Property Price Indices under the auspices of the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Price Statistics.


The quality and availability of housing price indices differs from country to country. In some cases there may be an abundance of reliable data; in most others, hardly any indicators are available and those that are, often fail to meet user requirements. Sometimes the differing characteristics of available indices are not necessarily well known, let alone understood, which can seriously hamper international comparisons. From the perspective of price index compilers it may not necessarily be clear which data key users require. Moreover, there are no international guidelines for producing RPPIs.


By bringing together users, compilers, statisticians and policy makers, the conference will gather a wide range of experience in compiling and using residential property price indices and identify key issues that will merit attention as statistical standards are developed in this field.



The conference aims to bring together different institutions and experts who use or produce house price data in order to develop indices that better meet the needs of different types of users and producers. It would include academics, policy analysts, central bankers, statisticians and housing experts who can contribute to this objective. The conference will, in particular, provide inputs to a Eurostat-led project that aims at preparing an International Statistical Handbook on Residential Property Price Indices.


The need for proper property price indices was recognised at a conference organised by the IMF and the BIS in 2003. As a result, a special chapter on residential property price indices was added to the Compilation Guide of Financial Soundness Indicators. The idea of a more detailed Handbook dates back to a workshop organised jointly by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Real Estate Price Indexes in Paris in November 2006. The Handbook would complement the existing international manuals on consumer price indices (CPIs), producer price indices (PPIs) and import-export price indices that have been produced under the auspices of the Inter Secretariat Working Group on Price Statistics.


Eurostat agreed to take this initiative forward and prepare the handbook, given the strong links to its ongoing work on owner-occupied housing and the role that house price indices will have in Eurostat's set of "Principal European Economic Indicators".


The handbook will provide recommendations on best practices for compiling house price indices as well as explaining the different user needs for such indices. It aims at facilitating the setting-up of house price indices where these are missing and improving existing house price indices where this may be necessary. The handbook should serve as a useful step towards the improved international comparability of RPPIs. The handbook will be written, on behalf of Eurostat, by a team of internationally recognised price statistics experts led by Statistics Netherlands. These consultants will also attend and contribute to the conference.


Thus the conference aims to:

  • inform people about the handbook project;
  • help establish the scope of the handbook and gather information on user requirements and
  • compilers’ constraints.




Apart from the opening session, there will be three discussion Sessions and a Panel discussion. The sessions will be chaired by a representative of Eurostat, the IAOS and the IFC respectively.


Following the opening addresses by the BIS, Eurostat, IAOS and IFC, a keynote speech will delivered.


The following sessions are scheduled:


Session 1:

Users' needs


The First Session gathers user needs from market and policy perspectives; expected contributions articulate what are index series used for, what are their desired properties and how well the current statistical system is answering to these needs Essentially the session seeks answers to the question: What are the user needs for which residential property price indices are required?


Session 2 and 3:

Statistical and measurement issues


The Second Session discusses the specific statistical and measurement issues that are inherent in the compilation of Residential Property Price Indices; and puts these issues to a structured framework reflecting both the different uses and theoretical considerations.

In particular the session seeks possibilities for identifying one or more pragmatic general-purpose residential real estate price indices that are able to cover most user requirements. The session outlines the general conceptual framework, including geographical coverage, observation of transaction / valuation prices; stocks and transactions; and what should ideally be compiled in terms of residential property prices, such as types of indicators and the respective statistical methodology.

Specific methodological issues, including the use of hedonics, repeat sales approach, construction of weights, aggregation will also be discussed, as well as what the underlying data sources are and what problems might be encountered in relying on them.

Essentially the session seeks to answer the question: What are the available tools to respond to users' needs?


Session 4:

Panel discussion


The third session is a Panel Discussion in which ideas how to best balance the user needs and supply of Residential Property Price indices keeping in particular in mind different methodological and resource restrictions. It would also establish the priority areas for starting work on developing or improving real estate property price indices.





The target audience for the conference is professional users and current or prospective producers of residential property price indices:


  • policy makers and senior officials;
  • experts on housing markets and from financial institutions;
  • professional statisticians and economists.


Around 150 experts from around the world are expected to attend the Conference.


Participation at the conference is by invitation only. The sponsoring organisations, as well as other international organisations and groups will distribute invitations through their respective constituencies. Other interested parties are requested to contact one of the officials below. Please return the registration form by 9th October 2009 at the latest to the address given on the form. 


The Conference will be held on 11-12 November 2009, BIS, Centralbahnplatz 2 Basel, Switzerland (block hotel reservations have been made, please indicate requirements on the registration form).

Conference language:



Mr Jarko PASANEN, Price Statistics, Eurostat G-6
Tel. (+352) 4301-36425
Fax (+352) 4301-33989


Teodora MITROVSKA, Price Statistics, Eurostat G-6
Tel. (+352) 4301-31868
Fax (+352) 4301-33989




Irena KRIZMAN, President
Tel. (+3861) 241 5300
Fax (+3861) 241 5344




Mr. Kaushik Jayaram, Monetary and Economic Department, BIS
Tel. (+41 61) 280 8741
Fax (+41 61) 280 9100


Last update 16.11.2009