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Economy in Brief

FHFA Home Price Index Rate of Increase Eases
by Tom Moeller  October 23, 2013

Home prices continue moving higher, although the rate of gain slipped this summer. The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA) rose 0.3% during August following a 0.8% July increase. The increase was the smallest since last September. A 0.8% gain had been expected in the Bloomberg survey. During the last three months prices have risen at a 7.8% annual rate, reduced from the 12.3% rate as of March.

Home prices declined during August in both the South Atlantic (+8.5% y/y) and the East North Central (+5.9% y/y) regions of the country. Moreover, the rate of home price appreciation eased elsewhere in the country. Continuing strongest were prices in the Pacific region (18.2% y/y) and the Mountain states (13.8% y/y), although here too there has been some deceleration in the rate of increase.

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 2012 2011 2010
Total 0.3 0.8 0.7 8.5 3.5 -4.1 -2.9
  Pacific 0.8 2.0 1.6 18.2 4.9 -7.0 -2.2
  Mountain 1.3 1.5 1.1 13.8 8.2 -6.9 -6.5
  South Atlantic -0.5 1.2 0.4 8.5 4.1 -5.2 -4.8
  West South Central 0.7 -0.2 0.4 6.5 4.3 -1.1 -0.3
  West North Central 1.2 -0.1 1.3 6.4 3.4 -3.3 -2.0
  East North Central -0.3 1.0 1.0 5.9 2.2 -3.7 -3.2
  East South Central 0.5 -0.9 1.5 5.2 2.6 -2.6 -2.8
  New England 0.2 1.0 -0.4 4.2 -0.1 -2.2 -2.3
  Middle Atlantic 0.3 0.6 -0.4 4.0 -0.0 -3.2 -1.1

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,FL.
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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