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The Residential Property Price Index publication includes a suite of three indexes (referred to collectively as 'the indexes'):
To maintain the relevance of the indexes an index review is undertaken every five years, following the availability of data from the Census of Population and Housing. The quantities of dwellings that underpin the weights of the index are updated at this time. It also provides an opportunity to reassess the compilation methodology of the index. The most recent index review occurred in relation to the 2016 Census.
The ABS uses a stratification approach to compile the indexes. Dwelling transactions are stratified by dwelling type, long term median price and Socio-Economic Index for Areas score. Similar dwellings (not exactly the same dwellings) are priced each period, and changes in other characteristics of the dwelling stock are not removed from the price index. The change in the median dwelling transaction prices of these strata from quarter to quarter are weighted together to produce a measure of price change at the capital city level.
Estimates are also available of the median price and transfer counts of established houses and attached dwellings for capital cities and rest of state, in Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities.
The accuracy of the indexes relies on the number of price observations available each quarter. All Australian residential property sales data are supplied to the ABS by CoreLogic. This dataset is a combination of residential property sales data obtained from state and territory land titles offices or Valuers General offices, and real estate agents' data provided to CoreLogic. The ABS applies classifications to this dataset to create the residential property sales dataset from which the price indexes and related statistics are produced.
The first issue of the residential property price index in its current form related to the December quarter 2013. This series (Series 3) was based on data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing and included updated weights and stratification variables which were linked to the previous series (Series 2) at the March quarter 2013. The house price index has a time series starting from the March quarter 2002. The attached dwelling price index and aggregated residential property price index have a time series starting from the September quarter 2003.
Prior to the December quarter 2013, the house price index was the only series published. In the December quarter 2008 issue, updated weights and a refined stratification method based on 2006 Census data were introduced and linked to the existing house price index series (Series 1) at the March quarter 2008. Series 1 was introduced in the September quarter 2005 issue (with improvements applied back to the March quarter 2002). The most significant change was the introduction of a stratification approach to compile the house price index.
An historical series, from 1986 to 2005, continues to be available as an indicator of established house price movements over a longer period. This historical series is not directly comparable to the existing house price index series post 2002, due to the significant changes in methodology introduced in the September quarter 2005 issue.
The Residential Property Price Indexes: Eight Capital Cities contains explanatory notes which provide an overview of the scope, coverage, data sources and methodology of the published series. Appendices are included when appropriate (for example, to explain the outcome of a methodological review).
More detailed information about the technical aspects of the residential property price indexes and related statistics can be found in the Residential Property Price Indexes: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2018.
All available data is released in the residential property price index publication and associated time series spreadsheets on the ABS website each quarter and can be accessed via the ABS website:https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6416.0.
For links to data and publications relating to the residential property price indexes and other prices series, please see Topics @ a Glance - Inflation and Price Indexes.
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