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Economy in Brief

U.S. Home Price Appreciation Picks Up
by Tom Moeller  October 24, 2012

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA) gained 0.6% during August following an unrevised 0.2% July increase.  The rise lifted the y/y increase to 4.7%, was its strongest since 2006 and followed four successive years of price decline. Prices remained 14.6% below the 2007 average.

Home price appreciation was pronounced in the Mountain states (11.7% y/y) following declines larger than in the rest of the country. The gain was followed by the Pacific (8.1% y/y), West South Central (5.2% y/y), South Atlantic (4.4% y/y), West North Central (4.3% y/y) and the East North Central (3.5% y/y) regions. Elsewhere, home price improvement has been modest, at best.

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 %) Aug Jul Jun Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total 0.6 0.2 0.6 4.7 -4.2 -2.8 -5.1
  New England 1.1 -0.1 -0.1 1.0 -2.2 -2.2 -2.6
  Middle Atlantic 0.8 -0.7 0.3 -0.0 -3.3 -1.1 -3.0
  East North Central 0.4 0.1 0.5 3.5 -3.7 -3.2 -3.6
  West North Central -0.2 1.0 1.0 4.3 -3.4 -1.9 -1.4
  South Atlantic 0.4 0.1 0.4 4.4 -5.3 -4.8 -7.5
  East South Central 0.0 -0.8 0.8 2.1 -2.8 -2.7 -2.1
  West South Central 0.2 0.7 0.1 5.2 -1.1 -0.2 -0.1
  Mountain -0.6 1.3 3.3 11.7 -6.9 -6.5 -10.9
  Pacific 2.4 0.3 0.4 8.1 -7.1 -2.2 -11.2
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