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Economy in Brief

FHFA Home Price Index Increase Lessens
by Tom Moeller  September 26, 2012

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA) rose a lessened 0.2% during July following a 0.6% June increase, last month reported as 0.7%. It was the easiest of the last six consecutive monthly gains. Nevertheless, the 3.7% y/y increase was its strongest since 2006 and followed four successive years of price decline. Prices remained 15.1% below the 2007 average.

Home price appreciation was pronounced in the Mountain states (11.9% y/y). However, the increase here followed declines larger than in the rest of the country. The gain was followed by the West South Central (4.9% y/y), the South Atlantic (4.9% y/y) and the Pacific (4.5% y/y) regions. Home prices have yet to increase y/y in the Middle Atlantic (-1.4% y/y) and the New England (-0.5% y/y) areas of the country.

The FHFA house price index is a weighted repeat sales index. It measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties. It is based on transactions involving conforming, conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Only mortgage transactions on single family properties are included. The FHFA data is available in Haver's USECON database. 

 

(FHFA U.S. House Price Index Purchase Only (SA %) Jul Jun May Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total 0.2 0.6 0.7 3.7 -4.2 -2.8 -5.1
  New England -0.1 -0.1 1.8 -0.5 -2.1 -2.0 -2.5
  Middle Atlantic -0.7 0.3 0.1 -1.4 -3.3 -1.1 -3.0
  East North Central 0.1 0.5 1.1 2.2 -3.8 -3.1 -3.6
  West North Central 1.0 1.0 0.9 3.5 -3.5 -1.9 -1.4
  South Atlantic 0.1 0.4 0.4 4.9 -5.3 -4.9 -7.5
  East South Central -0.8 0.8 -0.4 1.9 -2.8 -2.7 -2.1
  West South Central 0.7 0.1 -0.3 4.9 -1.1 -0.3 -0.0
  Mountain 1.3 3.3 1.4 11.9 -6.9 -6.5 -10.9
  Pacific 0.3 0.4 1.5 4.5 -7.2 -2.2 -11.1
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