Global house prices


Location, location, location

Our interactive guide to the world’s housing markets

HOUSE prices are picking up globally. Values are rising in 18 of the 23 countries we track, compared with just 12 a year ago.

The Case-Shiller index released on New Year’s Eve reported price increases of 13.6% in the year to October 2013. Homes in America have risen in value by 24% since their March 2012 trough, but they remain 20% below their peak in April 2006.

In Britain, prices increased at their fastest rate in three years in October, fuelling fears of a housing bubble (and pop). The north-south divide in the euro area continues—prices still fall in the indebted south. Yet the market has finally bottomed out in Ireland: after halving over six years, prices are now 9% above their March low.

And homes in Germany are rising at the fastest rate since reunification, although housing is still undervalued against both rents and income.

Fears grow of a bubble in China, where prices increased by 8.7% in the year to November 2013, according to The Economist’s index, based on official figures from 70 Chinese cities. Brazil, which hosts the football World Cup in June, is also having a housing boom. Prices increased 13% in the 12 months to November and in Rio, which hosts the Olympics in 2016, they have trebled since 2008. 

The Economist has been publishing data on global house prices since 2002. The interactive tool above (updated on January 2nd 2014) enables you to compare nominal and real house prices across 21 markets over time. And to get a sense of whether buying a property is becoming more or less affordable, you can also look at the changing relationships between house prices and rents, and between house prices and incomes. 

This interactive chart uses five different measures: 
• House-price index—rebased to 100 at a selected date and in nominal terms only. 
• Prices in real terms—again rebased to 100 for the selected date, but the index is deflated by consumer prices to take account of the effects of inflation on purchasing power. 
• Prices against average income—compares house prices against average incomes in each country, rebased to 100 at the selected date.
• Prices against rents—compares the relationship between the costs of buying and renting, rebased to 100 at the selected date. 
• Percentage change (in real terms)—shows the increase or decrease in real prices between two selected dates.

The data presented are quarterly, often aggregated from monthly indices. When comparing data across countries, the interactive chart will only display the range of dates available for all the countries selected.

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