Husleieindekser og husleiestatistikk
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SummaryIn the autumn of 2003 the State Housing Bank commissioned the Norwegian Building Research Institute and NOVA to draw up the basis for a new rent index that will provide fuller knowledge of the housing rental market and trends in this market. It was agreed that the study should focus on the following:Clarify the purpose of constructing such an index. Identify possible data sources and assess relevant methods of data collection. Investigate how similar indices/rental statistics are constructed in some neighbouring countries. Discuss what requirements need to be made of a new rent index and recommend a preferred index solution in light of the purpose of such an index. Give an assessment of where the operational responsibility for such an index should be placed. The need for new rent statistics and indices derives primarily from section 4-3 of the new Rent Act of 1999 which states that either of the parties to a tenancy contract may after three years request that the rent be adjusted to a reference rent, the so-called "prevailing rent for the letting out of similar accommodation on similar terms of contract". What requirements this section entails in terms of data and statistics production are at centre-stage of the study.We start by affirming that there is a need for better, more detailed rent statistics than those currently produced by Statistics Norway. Better statistics are needed primarily with a view to sound, consistent application of the provisions governing the stipulation and regulation of rents, although other social considerations will also benefit. They will provide a better basis on which to calculate the value of housing services in the national accounts, and a far better opportunity than at present to keep abreast of trends in living conditions and living expenses for particular segments of the population.In chapter 2 we conclude that the adjustment of the rent in concrete tenancies to the reference rent should be done in two stages. In stage 1 the parties in the rental market should be able to find the average rent level for the category of accommodation/tenancy that is relevant in a particular case. Responsibility for ensuring the availability of statistics on rent levels in a relatively wide-ranging set of accommodation/tenancy categories should rest with the public authorities. In stage 2 the parties, based on the above "category indices", can take account of characteristics of the accommodation that do not feature in the indices. They can do this under their own auspices or, if they fail to reach agreement, by referring the matter to relevant legal authorities. In order for a new rent index to become a relevant and useful aid in stage 1 of this decision-taking process, it must be able to be broken down into sub-indices showing the trend in the rent level within a stable set of accommodation/tenancy categories. As regards how many and which categories can/should be established, they should in general be defined in terms of factors that prove to have stable and significant effects on the rent level.Since these statistics have to build on surveys, data collection needs to be based on a rather large sample. In practice only Statistics Norway is in a position to produce and publish such statistics. We recommend, in consultation with Statistics Norway, that the new rent statistics should be established immediately, and be implemented in three phases. Phase 1 is a preparatory phase in which Statistics Norway identifies possible data sources for the new statistics. In phase 2, autumn 2004, Statistics Norway will undertake a screening process whose main object will be to establish a minimum sample of 5,000 tenancies to provide a basis for Phase 3: collection of rent data in the course of 2005. Data collection can be on a monthly basis (as at present), or on a quarterly or half-yearly basis. In the interest of costcontainment we recommend quarterly data collection - at any rate in the first few years.A system of permanent sub-indices in this area should be based on information that is as wide-ranging and reliable as possible on the factors that give rise to significant, stable differences in rent. A review of earlier research, and our own analyses, shows a lack of reliable knowledge of relevant factors. We therefore recommend taking the opportunity that the screening process in the autumn of 2004 gives to carry out a targeted study of the significance of central factors for rent in the rental market. A sample of at least 5,000 tenancies will provide an opportunity - previously unavailable in Norway - to analyse and clarify issues in this area.Experience gained with applying the legal provisions governing the adjustment of the rent in concrete tenancies to the reference rent has revealed great uncertainties - and conflicting views - both in terms of how key concepts should be understood, how they should be operationalised and how the reference rent should be calculated. The act is general in nature and applies to the entire rental market. It enshrines the principle of freedom of agreement and free price formation in the rental market when new contracts are established. However, it does not cover complications - and how complications should in the event be resolved - that may result when the provisions on reference rent are applied in those segments of the market where the determination of housing rent in various ways diverges markedly from the way housing rent is determined under traditional full and free competition. This is the case for the public sector's rental activity, and also in parts of the private rental market. The uncertainties in evidence here are so marked that in our assessment consideration should be given to amending the act to make it clearer whether or not the act is to apply in all market segments, how central concepts should be understood and how the reference rent should be calculated. These uncertainties might suitably be cleared up by issuing regulations pursuant to the act, see section 4-6 of the act.Norges byggforskningsinstitutt og NOVA inngikk høsten 2003 en samarbeidsavtale med Husbanken om samfunnsvitenskapelig boligforskning. I perioden 2004-2006 skal det innenfor samarbeidsavtalen gjennomføres forskningsprosjekter innenfor tre emneområder: 1) Statens og Husbankens rolle i en markedsstyrt boligsektor, 2) Vanskeligstilte på boligmarkedet og 3) Kommunenes rolle og ansvar i boligpolitikken. Rapporten er avtalt og finansiert innenfor rammen av denne samarbeidsavtalen. I rapporten drøftes grunnlaget for å etablere en ny husleiestatistikk som vil gi bedre kunnskap om utleiemarkedet for boliger og utviklingen av husleiene. Behovet for en slik husleiestatistikk er først og fremst avledet av Â§ 4-3 i den nye husleieloven av 1999. Der sies det at hver av partene i et leieforhold etter tre år kan kreve at leia justeres til "gjengs leie" ved utleie av liknende husrom på liknende avtalevilkår. I denne utredningen drøftes det hvilke krav til data og statistikkproduksjon som følger av denne bestemmelsen, det fremmes forslag om hvordan produksjonen av husleieindekser bør legges opp, hvem som bør produsere denne statistikken, og hvordan husleieindekser kan brukes når husleier skal justeres til gjengs leie.