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Economy in Brief

U.S. Home Price Index from FHFA Continues to Firm
by Tom Moeller  March 25, 2014

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA) increased 0.5% during January and by 7.4% y/y. That annual rate of appreciation has been steady since early last year. During the last twelve months prices rose by double-digits in the Pacific and Mountain regions of the country. Prices remained down, nevertheless, by double digits since the pre-recession peaks.

On a one-month basis, January home prices were strongest in the Middle Atlantic (3.2% y/y), West North Central (5.9% y/y), New England (3.7% y/y) and Mountain (11.0% y/y) regions of the country. Home prices declined, however, during January in the West South Central (+5.4% 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 %) Jan Dec Nov Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Total 0.5 0.7 -0.1 7.4 7.7 3.4 -4.0
  Pacific 0.8 0.5 0.1 14.0 16.6 4.9 -6.8
  Mountain 0.5 0.6 0.6 11.0 12.8 8.1 -6.6
  South Atlantic 0.3 1.2 -0.2 8.4 8.2 4.0 -5.1
  East North Central 0.1 0.8 0.1 6.0 5.5 2.2 -3.6
  West North Central 1.0 0.4 0.0 5.9 5.1 3.4 -3.2
  West South Central -0.3 1.6 0.1 5.4 6.2 4.3 -1.1
  East South Central 0.7 1.3 -0.9 4.9 4.5 2.5 -2.6
  New England 1.0 -1.0 -0.5 3.7 3.9 -0.1 -2.2
  Middle Atlantic 1.3 -1.0 -0.6 3.2 2.9 0.0 -3.1

New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Middle Atlantic: New York, New Jersey and 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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