European House Prices Nudge Down

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House prices across the European Union fell by an average 0.6% in the first three months of the year.

But homes in the single currency zone suffered worst – recording an average 1% drop in the first quarter of 2013, compared with the same period last year.

The official European Union data shows the highest average price increase in Q1 2013 compared year on year with Q1 2012 were in:

  • Estonia – up 7.7%
  • Latvia – up 7.2%
  • Luxembourg – up 4.3%
  • Sweden – up 4.1%

The largest decreases were:

  • Spain – down 12.8%
  • Hungary – down 9.3%
  • Portugal – down 7.3%
  • The Netherlands – down 7.2%

These house price changes were more or less in line with the quarterly changes between the end of 2012 and March 31, 2013.

Expat destinations worst hit

The highest rises were:

  • Romania – up 4.3%
  • Estonia – up 3.1%
  • Latvia and Slovakia – up 2.3%

The biggest price falls were:

  • Spain – down 5.1%
  • Cyprus – down 4.8%
  • Hungary – down 3.8%
  • Portugal – down 3.2%

UK house prices were down 1.1% in the Q1 2013 compared with the end of 2012, but up 2.2% year-on-year.

Many of the largest house price falls were in popular British expat nations hit by the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone.

Double-digit declines

The good news from the figures for expats in Spain is the drop in property prices appears to be bottoming out after years of spiralling downwards.

Year on year, each quarter has showed a double digit decline for the past 15 months – but the rate of plunging prices has levelled from 16% at the start of 2012 to 12.8% a year later.

Meanwhile prices in Portugal show no such resilience, and after home values dropping to a 6% decline last quarter from the more than 8% in Q2 2012, have increased their rate of decline again to 7.3%.

In general house prices gains and losses seem to reflect the EU north side divide, with many Nordic and Baltic states recording price increases, while the nations in the south face falling home values.

Overall, 13 countries reported rising house prices, 11 price drops and one, Slovakia, had no change. Four – Germany, Austria, Greece and Poland – returned no data.

European quarterly and annual house price developments

 

Percentage change compared with the previous quarterPercentage change compared with the same quarter of the previous year
2012201320122013

Q2

Q3Q4Q1Q2Q3Q4

Q1

Belgium0.11.1-0.80.42.61.81.10.8
Germany1.3

:

:

:

2.3

:

:

:

Estonia3.32.5-1.43.17.78.35.87.7
Ireland-2.01.50.0-2.6-14.4-9.6-4.5-3.0
Greece:

:

:

:

:

:

:

:

Spain-3.2-3.7-1.4-5.1-16.0-16.1-12.8-12.8
France0.10.6-1.4-0.7-0.2-1.6-2.0-1.4
Italyp-0.8-1.7-2.2-1.1-2.0-3.7-5.2-5.7
Cyprus5.4-1.30.5-4.80.8-0.15.4-0.4
Luxembourg*1.71.01.6-0.14.37.13.94.3
Malta1.20.32.10.30.60.75.43.9
Netherlands-1.5-3.80.8-2.9-5.6-8.9-6.4-7.2
Austria:

:

:

:

:

:

:

:

Portugalp-2.4-0.9-1.1-3.2-8.3-7.7-6.0-7.3
Slovenia1.1-2.6-3.50.7-5.7-6.0-8.8-4.3
Slovakia-0.90.7-2.02.3-2.5-2.3-2.90.0
Finlandp1.10.20.00.71.82.13.12.1
Eurozone areap-0.2-0.6-0.5-1.0-2.1-2.3-1.7-2.2
Bulgariap0.4-0.1-1.7-0.9-1.6-1.0-1.3-2.2
Czech Republic0.1-0.2-0.1-0.6-2.0-1.6-0.7-0.9
Denmark1.30.5-0.50.3-5.5-1.81.31.6
Latvia1.42.11.22.31.20.17.47.2
Lithuania-1.11.0-0.80.7-0.90.3-1.2-0.2
Hungary-3.4-0.9-2.0-3.3-4.1-3.7-5.2-9.3
Polandccccccc

c

Romania-0.6-4.2-0.14.3-8.9-5.6-1.3-0.8
Sweden1.10.70.51.7-0.10.83.84.1
United Kingdom1.11.8-0.7-0.12.01.92.32.2
EUp0.0-0.3-0.5-0.6-1.6-1.7-1.0-1.4
Iceland2.11.30.10.77.66.74.74.2
Norway**4.40.9-0.12.87.98.58.98.2

*    only flats

**  only existing dwellings

:    data not available

p   provisional

c   confidential

Source: Eurostat

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