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Economy in Brief

FHFA Home Price Index Keeps Improving
by Tom Moeller  November 27, 2012

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA) rose 0.2% during September following a 0.5% August rise. The 4.4% y/y increase was its strongest since 2006, and followed four successive years of price decline. Despite the improvement, prices remained 14.7% below the 2007 average.

Home price appreciation was broad-based in the U.S. but most notable in the Mountain states (10.3% y/y). This increase followed declines larger than most in the country. The gain was followed by the Pacific (7.6% y/y) and the South Atlantic states (4.9% y/y). Home prices have yet to increase in the New England (-0.5% y/y) region.

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 %) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total 0.2 0.5 0.1 4.4 -4.1 -2.8 -5.1
  New England -1.0 0.7 -0.0 -0.5 -2.1 -2.0 -2.5
  Middle Atlantic 0.8 0.8 -1.0 0.9 -3.3 -1.1 -3.0
  East North Central 0.0 0.4 -0.0 3.2 -3.8 -3.1 -3.6
  West North Central -0.1 -0.2 0.6 2.7 -3.5 -1.9 -1.4
  South Atlantic 0.6 0.2 0.4 4.9 -5.3 -4.9 -7.5
  East South Central -0.0 -0.7 -0.3 3.3 -2.8 -2.7 -2.1
  West South Central -0.0 -0.2 0.8 4.5 -1.1 -0.3 -0.0
  Mountain 0.6 0.2 0.5 10.3 -6.9 -6.5 -10.9
  Pacific -0.2 2.7 -0.4 7.6 -7.2 -2.2 -11.1
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