Macroeconomic Statistics based on Surveys: Circumventing Subjectivity in Housing Sales and Rent Data

M. Denisa Naidin
Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) & Universite de Toulouse

Sofie R. Waltl
Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) & Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU)

Michael H. Ziegelmeyer
Banque centrale du Luxembourg (BCL) & Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA)


The current value of the residential housing stock constitutes a crucial input variables in macro- and microeconomics and the social sciences in general as well as for macro-economic monitoring and financial supervision. Due to limited objective data on aggregate housing wealth and rent expenditures, owner-estimated and renter-reported values collected in country-representative surveys are regularly used as if they were true market prices. This article makes use of the Luxembourg Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) data, which we amended by questions about important price-determining housing characteristics for each households’ main residences. We link each HFCS observation to market data via hedonic models thus yielding imputed realistic current market prices for each dwelling described in the HFCS. Thus, we add objective values to otherwise subjectively reported survey data. We assess the potential to use such imputation techniques within household surveys to achieve population-representative macroeconomic indicators.

JEL Codes: E58; G51; R21; R31.
Keywords: Macroeconomic Statistics; Housing and Rent Markets; Household Surveys; Affordability; Housing Wealth; Price-to-Rent Ratios; Price-to-Income Ratios.

This research benefits from funding by the FNR Luxembourg National Research Fund, CORE Grant No. 3886 (ASSESS). This article uses data from the Luxembourg L’Observatoire de l’Habitat and the Luxembourg Household Finance and Consumption Survey. The views expressed are solely those of the authors and may not be shared by the data providers nor the BCL or the Eurosystem.


Presentations (scheduled): [2021 Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Conference on Economic Measurement]