House price index
The house price index measures the inflation on residential property market. This index covers the price change of both existing and new residential properties bought by households, independent of their final use (bought for own occupancy or to be rented out). Only market prices are covered. Prices of dwellings build by their owners are therefore not taken into account. The price of land is included in the price of the dwellings.
House price indices are calculated by member states of the European Union, Iceland and Norway. Eurostat calculates the house price index for the euro area (as well as for the European Union as a whole) using the house price indices of Member States. Given the role of the housing market in the current economic and financial crisis, the house price index is also an indicator in the macroeconomic imbalances procedure of the European Union.
As the dwellings sold differ from quarter to quarter, changes in these characteristics are taken into account using hedonic regression models. These models aim at measuring the theoretical price of a dwelling based on its characteristics. This theoretical price is then compared to the real transaction price to eliminate price variation caused by a difference in the characteristics of the dwelling being sold.
The fourth quarter of 2016
Eurostat will publish the house price index of the eurozone and of the European Union for the fourth quarter of 2016 on the 7th of April 2017.
In the third quarter of 2016, the annual inflation rate amounts to 2.5% in Belgium, 3.4% in the eurozone and 4.3% in the European Union.