Robust Repeat Sales Indexes



Using single-family sales data for Louisville, Kentucky, we show the benefits of applying robust methods to down-weight problematic transactions in a repeat sales context. Robust estimators reduce the influence of outliers in repeat sales price changes that are due to data entry errors, quality changes or nonmarket transactions. In addition to comparing conventional and robust indexes, we also use simulated data, where the correct index is known, to show that robust methods control for the impacts of contaminated data. Finally, we demonstrate that robust methods reduce the magnitude and volatility of index revisions.