The House Price Index (HPI) measures the evolution of market prices of all residential properties that are purchased by households (flats, detached houses, terraced houses, etc.), both new and existing, independently if bought for own-occupancy or as an investment.
According to preliminary estimates, in the first quarter of 2019 the HPI (see Italian IPAB) decreased by 0.5% compared with the previous quarter and by 0.8% compared with the same quarter of the previous year (it was -0.5% in the fourth quarter).
The decrease on annual basis of HPI was only due to the prices of existing dwellings that showed a negative rate of change equal to -1.3%, from -0.7% in the previous quarter; whereas new dwellings prices increased on annual basis by 1.7%, showing a speed-up compared to +0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The decrease of HPI occured in a context of a persistent growth of the sales volumes (it was +8.8% the annual rate of change registered for the residential sector in the first quarter of 2019 by the Observatory of Real Estate Market belonging to Tax Office).
The slight decrease on quarterly basis in the HPI was due both to the prices of new dwellings and to those of existing dwellings, that decreased by 0.5% and 0.6% respectively.
With the release of HPI for the first quarter of 2019, corresponding weights are disseminated. In particular, the weight of new dwellings amounts to 16.6% (it was about 35% in 2010) against 83.4% of the existing ones.