House price index and value of housing transactions (prc_hpi_inx)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)
National metadata

For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT


1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

1.2. Contact organisation unit

C4: price statistics. Purchasing power parities. Housing statistics.

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 30/01/2019
2.2. Metadata last posted 01/02/2020
2.3. Metadata last update 30/01/2020

3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

The House Price Index (HPI) measures inflation in the residential property market. The HPI captures price changes of all kinds of residential property purchased by households (flats, detached houses, terraced houses, etc.), both new and existing. Only market prices are considered, self-build dwellings are therefore excluded. The land component of the residential property is included.

These indices are the result of the work that National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) have been doing mostly within the framework of the Owner-Occupied Housing (OOH) pilot project coordinated by Eurostat.

HPI is available for all EU Member States (except Greece), the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Turkey. In addition to the individual country series Eurostat produces indices for the euro area and for the EU.

For data from the first quarter of 2020, the EU HPI aggregate will no longer include the United Kingdom data, which series will continue to be available as an individual country.

The national HPIs are produced by NSIs, while the European aggregates are computed by Eurostat, by aggregating the national indices.

The data released quarterly on Eurostat's website include price indices themselves as well as their rates of change compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

House Sales cover the total value of dwellings transactions at national level (both houses and flats) where the purchaser is a household. House Sales indicators complement the data on the HPI in order to offer a more comprehensive picture of the housing market. At this moment Eurostat is publishing the annual index for the value of housing transactions and the annual rate of change.

3.2. Classification system

The HPI is classified according to the following categories:

  H.1. Purchases of dwellings

  H.1.1. Purchases of new dwellings.

  H.1.2. Purchases of existing dwellings.

3.3. Coverage - sector

ESA 2010 sector S. 14 (Household sector).

HPI covers all residential properties purchased by households in the reference period.

The index for the value of housing transactions covers the dwellings purchased by households. In few cases it covers the dwellings purchased by all sectors; these are flagged with 'd' (definition differs).

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The published data is as follows:

Annual House price index (2015 = 100) (prc_hpi_a)

  • Annual HPI 2015=100
  • Percentage change compared to the previous year.

Quarterly House price index (2015 = 100) - (prc_hpi_q):

  • Quarterly HPI 2015=100
  • Percentage change compared to same quarter of the previous year
  • Percentage change compared to the previous quarter.

House price index - Item weights (prc_hpi_inw)

  • Per thousand weights of the HPI for new and existing dwellings

Value of housing transactions (dwellings purchased by households) - index 2015=100 and annual rate of change (prc_hpi_hs)

  • Index 2015=100
  • Annual rate of change

The HPI measures the price evolution of dwellings in the reference period, compared to the base period.

Emphasis is on market prices of residential properties, non-marketed prices are ruled out from the scope of the HPI, so self-build dwellings are excluded. All transactions are included (both cash and mortgage).

Focus is on the measurement of price developments of all residential properties purchased by households, independently of its final use, so dwellings bought by households for uses other than owner-occupancy are included (for investment, e.g. to rent it out).

The target are dwelling acquisitions, independently of their previous owner; so all purchases of new and existing dwellings are to be considered, including those existing dwellings transacted between households.

The value of housing transactions covers the total annual value of dwellings transactions at national level (both houses and flats) where the purchaser is a household. Transactions between households are included. The value of transfers in dwellings due to donations and inheritances are excluded.

The values refer to the prices paid by household buyers and include both the price of land and the price of the structure. The prices for new dwellings include the VAT for new dwellings. Other costs related to acquisition (notary fees, registry/cadastre fees, real estate agency commission, bank fees) are excluded.

The index is computed from the value in national currency.   

3.5. Statistical unit

Each published index or rate of change refers to the expenditure by the household sector for acquiring residential property in the corresponding geographical entity. Expenditure includes all acquisitions of residential property, covering transactions with other sectors and transactions that are internal to the household sector.

3.6. Statistical population

The target statistical universe is the household expenditure for the acquisition of residential property within the economic territories of the countries compiling the HPI. The household sector to which the definition refers includes all individuals or groups of individuals irrespective of, in particular, the type of area in which they live, their position in the income distribution and their nationality status. These definitions follow the national account concepts in the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010).

HPI comprises all dwellings purchased in monetary transactions by households within the territory of a country; those by both resident and non-resident households (i.e. 'domestic concept').

3.7. Reference area

European Union (EU), euro area (European Monetary Union), EU Member States (except Greece), the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Turkey.

3.8. Coverage - Time

HPI data on EU aggregates and euro area start in 2005. At the country level the length of the time series is variable.

The index for the value of housing transactions (purchased by households) starts in 2010.

3.9. Base period

HPI is a chain-linked Laspeyres-type price index published using a common index reference period (2015=100). Starting with the release of Q1 2017 data on 19 July 2017, the reference year of the HPI series has been changed from 2010=100 to 2015=100.

The indices for the value of housing transactions (purchased by households) have the year 2015 as common reference period.

4. Unit of measure Top

Following units are used:

  • Index: equal 100 in the base period. For any other period, the HPI can be reckoned of as the amount that the buyer would have to spend on average in that given period to buy a residential property having a value of 100 in the base period.
  • Percentage change on the same period of the previous year (rates).

5. Reference Period Top

For every quarter, the national indices are compiled by NSIs based on data for dwellings that were transacted during that quarter in each EU Member State (except Greece), the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Turkey. The compiled quarterly indices represent the whole calendar quarter.

6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

The basic act providing for the compilation of the House price index (HPI) and the Owner-occupied price index (OOHPI) is the European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) 2016/792, of 11 May 2016.

The relevant implementing act is the Commission Regulation (EU) No 93/2013 of 1 February 2013.

All relevant regulations as well as further methodological details can be found in the Housing Price Statistics section on Eurostat's website under => Legislation.

House Sales data are provided on a voluntary basis by the countries.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

According to policy rules (see point 7.1).

8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The HPI is released on a quarterly basis, at one quarter after the reference period.

The Value of housing transactions index is released annually, in the second half of the following year after the reference period.

8.2. Release calendar access

The release calendar is published on the Eurostat website. The release dates of the Euro-Indicators are disseminated on Euro-Indicators Release Calendar.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Quarterly for HPI.

Annually for the value of housing transactions.

10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases, available on-line.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Statistics explained article, available online.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data online

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access


10.5. Dissemination format - other

See Eurostat's Housing Price Statistics dedicated section.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The HPI is compiled based on a common methodological framework described in the OOH/HPI Technical Manual. The latest version of the Manual will be soon available on Eurostat's Housing Price Statistics section.

Starting from the theoretical recommendations available in the literature, the Technical Manual developed from the invaluable practical experiences of statistical offices participating in the OOH project. The manual was gradually improved and extended as the project expanded its coverage to more countries, and participants applied the recommendations from the manual and gave their feedback. Details on the methods employed in the compilation of HPI can be found in particular in Chapter 6 of the Technical Manual.

A more analytical, in-depth review of the methods underlined in the OOH/HPI  Technical Manual, is offered in the Handbook on Residential Property Prices Indices (RPPI). The Handbook represents the first comprehensive overview of the conceptual and practical issues that statisticians (both in industrialised and developing countries) should consider when compiling price indices for residential properties. The development of the RPPI Handbook has been co-ordinated by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) and its electronic version is available on Eurostat's Housing Price Statistics section, under 'Residential Property Prices Indices Handbook'.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Not available.

11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Eurostat and National Statistical Institutes are working to ensure that the statistical practices used to compile national HPI are in compliance with HPIs methodological requirements and that good practices in the field of house price indices are being followed, according to the methodology underlined in the Technical Manual and the RPPI Handbook.

Eurostat has developed together with the Member States a framework to assess the quality of the HPI, where the concepts in the Technical Manual are combined with the European Statistical System (ESS) quality dimensions. This harmonised framework aims to maintain and, where necessary, improve current practices, taking into account the country-specific conditions.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The quality of the HPI is assessed regularly using the quality assurance framework. Evaluations undertaken by Eurostat in cooperation with Member States and other NSIs have revealed that the quality of HPI can be regarded as appropriate and significantly improving over time.

Member States, Iceland, Norway and Eurostat are continuously working to maintain and improve the quality and the comparability of the indices.

12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

HPI has a variety of potential uses:

  • for assessing housing affordability over time
  • a measure of specific price trends
  • for inflation targeting
  • for monitoring economic imbalances and financial stability
  • as input for national accounts purposes
  • as input to economic forecasting and analysis
  • as input for decision making in respect of the house market

Generally, HPI can be considered suited for cross-country economic comparisons of the evolution of house prices.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No information.

12.3. Completeness

All EU Member States (except Greece), the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Turkey deliver House Price Indices. Indices are provided for all, existing and new dwellings by all countries that deliver data except Iceland (no purchases of new dwellings).

The index and rate of change for the value of housing transactions is available for 20 EU Member States, the United Kingdom, Norway and Turkey.

13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracy of source data is monitored by assessing the methodological soundness of price and weight sources and the adherence to the methodological recommendations. There is a variety of data sources both for weights (National Accounts data, Household Budget Survey data, Construction Statistics, etc.) and prices (administrative data, bank (mortgage) data, construction companies, real estate agents, etc.).

The data collection depends on the data sources used across Member States, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and Turkey. In some cases, the whole universe of transactions is used (e.g. administrative data). In other cases, surveys are used. The type of survey and the price collection methods are designed to ensure sufficient coverage and timeliness.

Another potential source of bias can be related to the price concept used. Among various price concepts (transaction price, appraisal, offer price, etc.) the House Price Index produced by Member States, Iceland and Norway generally use transactions prices, ideally measured at the first binding contract. This is in line with the objective of the HPI which is to measure the evolution of actual transaction prices as experienced by buyers and sellers. Nonetheless, even transaction prices (as recorded in administrative registers, for instance) may, in some cases, be subject to bias (underreporting). NSIs are usually assessing the possibility of this bias occurring, and when identified, corrective measures are implemented (for example corroboration of multiple data sources, use of expert judgement, etc.).

13.2. Sampling error

In cases where samples are used, HPIs are statistical estimates subject to sampling errors because they are based on a sample of transactions, which is less than the complete universe of all purchases.

The NSIs which are responsible for the compilation of national results do not generally produce numerical estimates of HPI sampling errors because they are difficult to quantify. Nonetheless, the NSIs are reducing the sampling errors by using a sample of transactions that is as large as possible, given data and resource constraints.

13.3. Non-sampling error

For the HPI non-sampling errors are generally not quantified. Eurostat and the NSIs try to reduce non-sampling errors through continuous methodological improvements.

14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

The HPI is released about one quarter and one week after the end of the reference quarter, which is in line with the target for this indicator.

14.2. Punctuality

The HPI is released every quarter at 11:00am on the day of the News Release on House Price Index (see Eurostat's release calendar at

15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

There are many issues that influence the geographical comparability of House Price Indices. To illustrate this, it should be mentioned that prior to the pilot work carried out by Eurostat and the NSIs, the available HPIs in EU Member States came from various sources, often from outside the official statistics. The concept underlying these particular indicators often differed, in particular with respect to the type of underlying price data (transactions prices, appraisals values, judgements by market experts, offer prices), the coverage of regions and of dwelling types (some of them only covering urban areas or capital cities or only covering flats or existing dwellings) and the treatment of quality attributes that will differ across properties for which prices have been collected over time.

A key issue for HPI is the heterogeneity of the housing market, where virtually every product (dwelling) bought and sold is different from the next one in some respect. The quality adjustment from one time period to the next has been a major methodological issue in compiling house price indices, with important consequences for cross-country comparability.

All these concepts mentioned above have been tackled during the OOH project and have been harmonised at EU level, based on a common set of accepted methods and approaches as described in the OOH/HPI Technical Manual published by Eurostat (see section 11.1). Due to this harmonisation process, the HPI released by Eurostat can be considered, among HPI available in EU Member States, as most suited for cross-country comparisons.

15.2. Comparability - over time

HPI data are considered fairly comparable over time. Nonetheless, because of several improvements in methodology, some breaks in time series exist. In such cases, if basic data allowed, back calculations were performed and historical series were revised.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

There is only one set of HPI available.

15.4. Coherence - internal

HPI data are internal coherent. Higher level aggregations are derived from detailed indices according to well-defined procedures.

16. Cost and Burden Top

No information.

17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

HPI series are revisable under the terms set in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1921/2001 of 28 September 2001. The published HPI data and value of housing transactions may be revised for mistakes, new or improved information, and changes in the system of harmonised rules.

17.2. Data revision - practice

The HPI data is released quarterly, and it may include some provisional data for the latest one-two quarters. These are usually confirmed or revised to the final figures the following quarter(s).

Value of housing transactions index is usually final, but it might be revised as a result of new data collected and improvement of data sources/methodology.

Major revisions (usually affecting back data) occur rarely, in cases of significant data sources and methodological improvements. They are normally released with explanatory notes.

The change of reference year caused revisions to a few previously published rates of change because of rounding effects. Thus, rates of change for European and country aggregates calculated from the 2015=100 series can differ from the rates calculated from the 2010=100 series. See 'Summary table of revisions' under the Housing Statistics.

18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Data collection is carried out by National Statistical Institutes. Data sources for prices are: administrative data sources, bank (mortgage) data, construction companies, real estate agents, etc. Weights are usually compiled from National Account data, Household Budget Survey data, Construction Statistics, etc.

18.2. Frequency of data collection


18.3. Data collection

The data collection methods are chosen by National Statistical Institutes, depending on access to data, exhaustiveness, data quality, cost, variables available, timeliness, etc.

The Member States' HPIs are supplied by the National Statistical Institutes; the aggregate indices for the euro area and the EU are compiled by Eurostat.

18.4. Data validation

Data validation is done by National Statistical Institutes; additional quality checks are carried out also by Eurostat.

18.5. Data compilation

The HPI aggregates for the euro area and the EU are calculated by Eurostat using the national HPI provided by the Member States.

18.6. Adjustment

No seasonal adjustments are made.

Adjustments for quality mix and quality change: As HPI aims at measuring 'pure' price changes, it should be unaffected by changes in quality of residential properties. In the process of index compilation, National Statistical Institutes control for variations from one quarter to the other in the amounts of the price determining characteristics of the properties.

19. Comment Top

EU HPI data for 2019 includes the United Kingdom.

Since 2018, an aggregate for EU Member States without the UK has also been compiled.

For data from 2020 onwards, the EU aggregate will refer only to the 27 EU Member States. Data for the United Kingdom will nevertheless remain available.

More information can be found in the 'Note to users - Dissemination of European statistics after Brexit'.



Related metadata Top
prc_hicp_esms - Harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP)
prc_hpi_oo_esms - Owner occupied housing price index

Annexes Top