Global house prices

Location, location, location

Our interactive guide to the world’s housing markets

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THE house-price boom that preceded the financial crisis was remarkable for its scope and scale. With few exceptions, there seemed only one way for prices to go: up. Things have been more diverse since then. In The Economist‘s latest round-up of house prices, residential property markets continue to go in different directions. Emerging economies have taken a knock recently but that has yet to show up in home prices which are generally rising rapidly—though Brazil’s house-price growth has slowed from 20% a year ago to 12%. America’s once-stricken housing market is now in much better health. Prices have risen by 12% in the past year though that pace may now slacken following a sharp rise in mortgage rates since the spring. Buoyed by government schemes to subsidise mortgage funding costs and to help low-deposit buyers, the British market is picking up even though its fundamentals—unlike America’s—suggest continued overvaluation. House prices are falling in Japan and much of the euro area, notably in the bailed-out economies of southern Europe but also in northern creditor countries like the Netherlands. Outside Europe, Canada’s market looks particularly vulnerable to a housing bust owing to particularly overstretched valuations. See full article.

The Economist has been publishing data on global house prices since 2002. The interactive tool above (updated August 29th 2013) 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. In two countries (Italy and Japan), where data are only available every six months, linear growth is assumed between the intervening quarters. When comparing data across countries, the interactive chart will only display the range of dates available for all the countries selected.