House sales indicators. An overview of sources and possibilities
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The aim of this initiative was to set up procedures, data collection systems and technical solutions for establishing and developing complete quarterly house sales indicators. Review of existing statistics Our review of the existing sales statistics revealed that the sales recorded as free market sales include a certain amount of sales to family members. These sales have a lower average purchase price. However, we do not have information about whether these are gifts, but there are strong indications that this is indeed the case. So far, we have chosen not to publish separate indicators for these in our statistics releases. We have also devised a method for distinguishing dwelling sales to a non-personal buyer. These are recognisable by having a much higher purchase price on average than the dwelling sales to individuals. We will consider making this distinction in our statistics. We have also looked at the possibility of simplifying and improving the existing production process. The most important aspect is to further develop the automatic alignment routines with the Cadastre. So far, we have only established alignments with the Cadastre in cases where registration data is missing. Statistics on housing cooperative dwelling sales As from Q1 2017, the statistics on housing cooperative dwelling sales are included in the ongoing quarterly release of property sales statistics. By linking to the Cadastre and other registers, we have improved the quality of some important variables, such as address, type of dwelling and type of property. As from 2017, data for quarterly sales of housing cooperative dwellings can be part of the deliveries to Eurostat. With statistics on freehold dwellings and housing cooperative dwellings in place, only one type of ownership is missing in order to make the statistics on dwelling sales complete. This ownership form, dwellings owned through shares or bonds, constitutes around 2 per cent of the sold dwellings. New and existing dwellings By using registration data for both housing cooperative and freehold dwellings we will have a more comprehensive source for sold dwellings. The paper presents some measures on how to distinguish between new and existing dwelling sales. When it comes to the number of sales, new detached houses are challenging to capture. The value of the dwellings is especially difficult for housing cooperatives where the shared debt is missing in the registration. Although some adjustments might be necessary in the future, Statistics Norway can start to produce indicators on house sales distributed by estimates of new and existing dwellings.