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Economy in Brief

OFHEO House Price Index Continued Moving Lower
by Tom Moeller September 24, 2008

The index of U.S. house prices from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) continued moving lower in July. The 0.6% m/m decline from June followed a revised 0.3% dip during that month which was revised from the initial report of no change in prices.

The 5.3% year-to-year decline is by far the sharpest for this cycle and on record. Negative y/y comparisons began last November.

The OFHEO price index reflects repeat sales of the same property. It does not, however, make an adjustment for changes in the form of additions to or deterioration of that property.

Regional declines in home prices during the latest twelve months were greatest in the Pacific region where prices fell 17.7% y/y. That followed a 0.6% rise last year and several years of double digit gain. Prices also fell a sharp 5.2% in the South Atlantic states, by 4.7% in the Mountain states and by 4.6% in New England.

Elsewhere in the country home prices fell 3.5% in the Middle Atlantic region, by 1.9% in the West North Central region and by 1.2% in the East South central states.

Only in the West South Central of the country did prices rise year-to-year. The 0.6% gain was, however, down from nearly ten years of 3%-to-7% growth.

The latest report from OFHEO can be found here.

OFHEO figures are available in Haver's USECON database.

Another Conundrum? from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis can be found here.

OFHEO House Price Index (Q1 1991=100,SA) July June Y/Y 2007 2006 2005
Purchase Only 212.0 213.4 -5.3% 1.6% 6.3% 9.5%
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