House Price Indexes: USA vs. Europe
The Financial Times just launched the FT Eurozone (16 countries) and FT European house price indices (Eurozone plus UK, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark), which track prices of new and second hand houses and apartments across Europe. The chart above shows the quarterly house price indexes for the U.S. using OFHEO data and for the Eurozone using FT.com data (with free registration).
Notice the strikingly similar pattern of house prices in the U.S. and Europe between 2000 and 2008. U.S. house prices peaked several quarters ahead of Europe and also started declining a few quarters ahead of Europe, but otherwise the home price patterns are very similar. Notice also that the quarterly index for the U.S. flattened out in the last two quarters of 2008. On a monthly basis, the OFHEO index increased in January by 1.7%, the largest monthly increase in the OFHEO index on record (back to 1991).