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Economy in Brief

FHFA Home Price Index Builds Upward Momentum
by Tom Moeller  July 23, 2013

Strength in the housing market continues to exhibit itself in rising selling prices. The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA) rose 0.7% during May following a 0.5% April rise. The 7.3% y/y rate of increase was double the gain during all of last year. During the last three months prices have risen at a firmer 11.2% annual rate.

Home price appreciation was broad-based in the U.S. It continued to be greatest in the Pacific (15.8% y/y) and Mountain (12.7% y/y) states. Lesser gains were logged across the country with prices in the East South Central region up the least (2.7% y/y).

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 %) May Apr Mar Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total 0.7 0.5 1.5 7.3 3.5 -4.1 -2.9
  Pacific 0.8 1.8 2.4 15.8 4.9 -7.0 -2.2
  Mountain -0.1 1.9 1.3 12.7 8.2 -6.9 -6.5
  South Atlantic 1.8 -0.6 1.3 8.0 4.1 -5.2 -4.8
  West South Central 0.9 0.1 0.3 6.1 4.3 -1.1 -0.3
  East North Central 0.5 0.7 1.8 4.7 2.2 -3.7 -3.2
  West North Central -0.0 0.2 1.1 4.4 3.5 -3.3 -2.0
  New England 0.8 0.1 1.3 3.9 -0.1 -2.2 -2.3
  Middle Atlantic 0.9 0.4 1.5 3.3 -0.0 -3.2 -1.1
  East South Central -1.5 0.8 1.8 2.7 2.6 -2.6 -2.8

New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut
Middle Atlantic: New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania.
East North Central: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
West North Central: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
South Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
East South Central: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
West South Central: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.
Mountain: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Pacific: Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California.
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