To read this content please select one of the options below:

The Swedish property crisis in retrospect: a new look at appraisal bias

Rickard Enström (University of Alberta, School of Business, Edmonton, Canada)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 1 April 2005




In the early 1990s, Sweden suffered from a severe property crisis. This study aims to analyze the market for income properties in Sweden over a 20‐year period, 1980‐2000, taking a fresh look at describing the depth of the property crisis. The study specifically attempts to examine if appraisal bias was present when the state‐owned Nordbanken bank foreclosed on a large number of properties.


Using transaction data, the article estimates a set of hedonic price indices. The result is used to calculate predicted market values. To assess if the appraisals are biased they are compared with both the predicted market value and the actual transaction price.


The study does not find any indications of the appraisals being systematically biased. For the comparison with transaction price, however, a caveat in drawing these conclusions is that the appraisals could have had a direct impact on the reservation prices. The results further suggest that there is added information in appraisal beyond those characteristics that are available in public registers.


The study presents a new set of price indices based on a limited set of property characteristic. Most indices in actual use are based on appraised values. This study has shed light on the depth of the Swedish property crisis and enabled us to assess the quality of appraisals in general.



Enström, R. (2005), "The Swedish property crisis in retrospect: a new look at appraisal bias", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 148-164.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles