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Price index in real terms (RHPI) of residential property in Europe 2000-2020

Sweden’s housing seemed the least affordable in 2020, after adjusting real estate prices with domestic inflation rates for 16 different countries within Europe. This according to a quarterly RHPI (price index in real terms) development. The indices were calculated for existing single-family houses, with inflation including medical and health care expenses (such as those paid by employers or through other national health programs). Growing housing markets included the Netherlands, where a house costed roughly 287,000 euros in 2018, and Luxembourg, with the price of a house in the Grand Duchy reaching approximately 742,000 euros in 2019.

Where can I find other metrics on different housing markets in Europe?

In order to assess the valuation in different housing markets, one can have a look at the house-price-to-income rations in different countries worldwide. These ratios are calculated by dividing nominal house prices by nominal disposable income per head. There are also ratios that look at how residential property prices relate to domestic rents, such as the house-price-to-rent ratio for the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, these numbers are not available in a European overview. An overview of the nominal price per square meter of an apartment in the EU-28 countries is available, however.

One region, different markets

An important trait of the European housing market is that there is not one market, but multiple. Property policy in Europe lies with the domestic governments, not with the European Union. This leads to big differences between European countries, which shows in, for example, the home ownership rate (the share of owner-occupied dwellings of all homes). In 2018, roughly 74 percent of all homes in Portugal were owner-occupied whereas home ownership was at nearly 90 percent in Croatia or around 50 percent in Germany. These differences also lead to another problem: the availability of data. Non-Europeans might be surprised to see that house price statistics vary in depth, as every country has their own methodology and no European body exists that tracks this data for the whole continent.

Price index in real terms (RHPI) development of residential property in 16 countries in Europe from 1st quarter 2000 to 1st quarter 2020

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period

Q1 2000 to Q1 2020

Special properties

Index value 2005 equals 100. The year 2005 is the base year used to calculate the index value

Supplementary notes

The source states it uses a "house price index for each country that is most consistent with the quarterly U.S. house price index for existing single-family houses produced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. We extend the preferred series for each country back to first quarter 1975 either with historical data or with data from secondary sources. Each country’s house price index is seasonally adjusted over the entire sample period with an unobserved components time series model and then rebased to 2005 = 100."

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Statistics on "Residential real estate in the Netherlands"

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