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 fourth quarter of 2019 the HPI (see Italian IPAB) decreased by 0.2% compared with the previous quarter and increased by 0.3% compared with the same quarter of the previous year (it was +0.4% in the third quarter).
The increase on annual basis of HPI was mainly due to the prices of new dwellings that showed a positive rate of change equal to +1.0% (+1.3% in the previous quarter). Also prices of existing dwellings increased on annual basis by 0.1%.
The increase of HPI occured in the context of a slowdown of the growth of the volumes of sales (it was +0.6% the annual rate of change registered for the residential sector in the fourth quarter of 2019 by the Observatory of Real Estate Market belonging to Tax Office, from +4.9% of the previuos quarter).
The decrease on quarterly basis in the HPI was only due to the prices of existing dwellings (-0.3%), while prices for new dwellings increased (+0.6%).
At territorial level different trends took place: in the North-West the HPI increased (+2.1%) while in the Center decreased by 2,0%. In North-East and South/Islands year on year change rates were rather moderate (respectively of +0.1% and -0.3%).