- The observed annual inflation rate for house prices amounts to 2.6 % in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 3.9 % in the previous quarter.
- The average inflation rate for the last four quarters amounts to 3.1 %.
- The house price index went up by 2.1 % in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter.
Each quarter, STATBEL, the Belgian statistical office, calculates a house price index according to European regulations.
The annual inflation rate for house prices amounts to 2.6 % in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 3.9 % in the previous quarter. The average inflation rate for the last four quarters amounts to 3.1 %. The house price index stands at 110.99 points (2015=100) against 108.73 points in the previous quarter: it has increased by 2.1 % compared to the second quarter of 2018.
The European Union Member States calculate the house price index according to a harmonised methodology which makes it possible to compare the evolution of house prices across the different Member States. The house price index measures the price evolution of private real estate. The index follows price changes of new or existing residential real estate purchased by households, irrespective of their purpose (letting or owner-occupying).
The house price index measures the price evolution with the assumption that the characteristics of the property sold remain unchanged. The index thus measures the actual price evolution without interference of qualitative changes. If the size of the property sold increases, the average price of houses sold will also increase, which does not necessarily mean that the house price index will have increased. Therefore, this index does not measure the evolution of the average sales price of real estate. More information on the applied method can be found on page 5 of this press release.
The house price index is based on real estate transaction data from the General Administration of the Patrimonial Documentation of the FPS Finances. The results for the latest quarters are considered provisional and may be reviewed during the following quarter when additional data become available.
The house price index can be broken down by new houses and existing houses. In the third quarter of 2018, annual inflation amounted to 4.0 % for new houses and 2.2 % for existing houses. The weights of these two items in the overall index amount to 20.1 % and 79.9 % respectively for the year 2018.
Comparison between Belgium and the neighbouring countries
Since Eurostat will only publish the neighbouring countries' house price index for the third quarter of 2018 on 18th January 2018, the second quarter 2018 is the most recent quarter to use as a basis for comparison. In Belgium, inflation stood at 3.9 % in the second quarter of 2018 compared to 2.5 % in the previous quarter. The Netherlands have registered an inflation rate of 9.3 % during the first two quarters of 2018. In France, inflation amounted to 2.8 % in the second quarter, that is a slight decrease compared to the rate of 2.9 % observed for the first quarter 2018. In Germany, the inflation rate stood at 4.7 % in the second quarter of 2018, that is a decrease compared to the 5.5 % rate observed in the first quarter 2018. Inflation for the euro area as a whole went from 4.5 % in the first quarter of 2018 to 4.3 % in the second quarter of 2018.
 Figures for the last two quarters are considered provisional and may be reviewed in later publications.