IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

House Prices and Inflation in the Euro Area


  • Boris Cournède


The inflation measure used by the European Central Bank excludes housing costs that are borne by home owners even though they make up more than a tenth of household final consumption expenditure in the euro area. Has the exclusion of owner-occupied housing costs driven a wedge between the official harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) and the cost of living? To answer this question, a measure of the user cost of housing capital has been constructed for every euro area country (except Luxembourg). User costs are measured taking into account property taxes but net of tax breaks that home owners enjoy on mortgage repayments. The user cost measure is combined with the HICP to derive a “broad” inflation estimate. For the sake of comparison, an alternative estimate has been put together using imputed rents. The main conclusion is that owner-occupied housing costs have an impact. Another important conclusion is that the effect of owner-occupied housing costs on inflation varies noticeably with the method used to incorporate them into the price index. The paper finally discusses the choice of the method from the point of view of economic policy makers. "This Working Paper relates to the 2005 OECD Economic Survey of Euro Area (" Prix des logements et inflation dans la zone euro Bien qu’ils représentent plus de dix pour cent de la consommation finale des ménages dans la zone euro, les coûts de logement qui sont supportés par les propriétaires occupants ne sont pas inclus dans l’indicateur d’inflation employé par la Banque centrale européenne. L’exclusion de ces coûts a-t-elle enfoncé un coin entre l’indice des prix à la consommation harmonisé (IPCH) et le coût de la vie ? Pour répondre à cette question, une mesure du coût d’usage du capital a été construite pour les logements occupés pour chacun des pays appartenant à la zone euro (à l’exception du Luxembourg). Il s’agit d’une mesure du coût net d’impôts et de taxes, qui tient compte à la fois des taxes foncières et des allégements d’impôt dont bénéficient les propriétaires occupants. Cette mesure est ensuite adjointe à l’IPCH pour obtenir une évaluation de l’inflation « élargie ». Pour les besoins de la comparaison, une autre estimation a été effectuée en utilisant des loyers imputés. La principale conclusion est que les coûts du logement pour les propriétaires occupants font une différence. Une autre conclusion importante est que l’impact de ces coûts dépend sensiblement de la méthode qui est employée pour les intégrer à l’indice de prix. En conclusion, l'étude examine la question du choix de la méthode du point de vue des opérateurs de la politique économique. "Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de Euro area, 2005. ("

Suggested Citation

  • Boris Cournède, 2005. "House Prices and Inflation in the Euro Area," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 450, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:450-en
    DOI: 10.1787/037842735074

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mr. Paul Louis Ceriel Hilbers & Mr. Willy A Hoffmaister & Angana Banerji & Haiyan Shi, 2008. "House Price Developments in Europe: A Comparison," IMF Working Papers 2008/211, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Diego Moccero & Shingo Watanabe & Boris Cournède, 2011. "What Drives Inflation in the Major OECD Economies?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 854, OECD Publishing.
    3. Volker Rußig & Bettina Becker, 2006. "Wohnungsfertigstellungen in Europa bleiben auf hohem Niveau - Weitere Ergebnisse der Euroconstruct-Winterkonferenz 2005," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 59(05), pages 25-34, March.
    4. Garrido-Yserte, Rubén & Mañas-Alcón, Elena & Gallo-Rivera, Maria Teresa, 2012. "Housing and cost of living: Application to the Spanish regions," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 246-255.
    5. Bellod Redondo, José Francisco, 2009. "El precio de la vivienda y la inflación en España," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(302), pages 379-405, abril-jun.

    More about this item


    BCE; coût d'usage; ECB; Eurostat; Eurostat; HICP; housing; imputed rents; inflation; inflation; IPCH; logement; loyers imputés; user cost;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:450-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.