House Price Boom Slows Across Europe

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House prices are booming across Europe leaving  the modest 1.5% year-on-year increase in the UK languishing near the bottom of the pile.

Although average house prices across the European Union grew by an average 4%, property buyers in some countries were big winners.

The highest annual increase in the first three months of the year was in Hungary, where home values surged by 11.3% and where the upward movement looks like continuing as prices leapt by another 3.7% compared with the previous quarter.

The Czech Republic (9.4%) and Portugal (9.2%) also recorded big annual rises, according to official data from Eurostat, the EU statistics authority.

At the other end of the table, prices dropped 0.8% in Italy. Homebuyers in Finland saw a marginal 0.7% increase, followed by a 1.5% annual rise in the UK and Sweden.

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However, the boost in prices looks to be fading as four countries fall into negative growth in the first quarter of 2019.

Highs and lows

The largest collapse is in Malta – where prices grew by 3.7% in the last quarter of 2018, but slumped 7.9% to -4.2% three months later.

Also in the red are Germany (-0.3%), Ireland (-0.1%) and Italy (-0.5%), which worsened from -0.1% at the end of 2018.

A high spot is Denmark where quarterly prices have turned around from -2.2% in the final months of 2018 to +2.3% at the start of 2019.

France saw a small U-turn, up from -0.2% at the end of 2018 to 0% in Q1 2019.

Many other countries have seen a slowdown in property price rises, probably as the result of Brexit uncertainty and general poor performance of the EU economy.

EU House Prices Changes Q1 2019

Country Q1 2019 y-o-y Q1 2019 m-o-m
EU 4.0% 0.3%
Belgium 3.6% 1.1%
Bulgaria 7.3% 2.6%
Czech Republic 9.4% 1.7%
Denmark 1.9% 2.3%
Germany 5.0% -0.3%
Estonia 5.9% 1.7%
Ireland 4.4% -1.0%
Greece No data
Spain 6.9% 1.6%
France 2.9% 0.0%
Croatia 7.4% 3.5%
Italy -0.8% -0.5%
Cyprus 4.3% 0.8%
Latvia 7.1% 1.5%
Lithuania 6.8% 1.9%
Luxembourg 6.9% 0.8%
Hungary 11.3% 3.7%
Malta 6.5% -4.2%
Netherlands 8.2% 1.9%
Austria 4.2% 0.2%
Poland 8.1% 1.9%
Portugal 9.2% 3.6%
Romania 3.3% 0.1%
Slovenia 8.4% 0.8%
Slovakia 5.7% 1.9%
Finland 0.7% -0.8%
Sweden 1.5% 0.1%
United Kingdom 1.5% -1.3%

Source: Eurostat

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