In the third trimester of 2012, the cost of housing in Spain recorded a year-on-year fall of 15.2%, which represents the largest fall amongst all the European Union member countries: these countries also experienced an average decline of 1.9% respectively for the same period in 2011, according to Eurostat data, which has for the first time, published homogenous data regarding the progress of house prices of the EU’s twenty-seven member states. This negative percentage rose to 2.5% among the Eurozone countries.
According to data published by the European Office of Statistics, the year-on-year fall in house prices in Spain accelerated through the course of the year, given that in the second trimester of 2012 the rate was at 14.4% up from 12.5% in the first three months of 2012.
In quarter-on-quarter terms, the reduction in house prices in Spain was 3.7% in the third trimester, more than the average decline of 0.7% in the Eurozone and of 0.4% overall in the EU, only just behind the reductions of 4.2% and 3.7% observed in Romania and in the Netherlands respectively.
In short, amongst the member states whose data was available, the biggest annual increase in house prices were as follows: Estonia (+8.4%), Luxemburg (+7.1%) and Finland (+2.1%), whilst the biggest falls were recorded in Spain (-15.2%), Ireland (-9.6%), the Netherlands (-8.7%) and Portugal (-7.7%).
With regards to the second trimester of 2012, the biggest increases in house prices were recorded in Estonia (+2.6%), Latvia (+2.3%), United Kingdom (+1.7%) and Ireland (+1.6%), whilst the most pronounced declines were observed in Romania (-4.2%), the Netherlands (-3.9%) and Spain (-3.7%).
With the announcement of the data regarding the progress of house prices in the EU in the third trimester of 2012, Eurostat “is responding to the demand for comparable and reliable statistics” concerning the performance of the housing market at national level and within the EU.
“The growth of house prices is important for the purpose of our economy and for monetary policy, particularly for monitoring macroeconomic imbalances and the financial sector’s exposure to risk, as well as its relevance for households to measure price changes of the most important component of expenditure and the wealth of families”, explained the community institute of statistics.