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Economy in Brief

U.S. Home Price Index from FHFA Firms Again
by Tom Moeller  April 22, 2014

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing and Finance Agency (FHFA) increased 0.6% during February (6.9% y/y). That annual rate of appreciation has been fairly 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. Elsewhere in the country, home prices have shown lesser increases.

On a one-month basis, February home prices were strongest in the South Atlantic (7.5% y/y), Pacific (14.3% y/y) and Mountain (11.2% y/y) regions of the country. Home prices declined, however, in the New England (+0.6% y/y), Middle Atlantic (+1.5% y/y) and West North Central (+4.7% y/y) regions.

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.

Interpreting Deviations from Okun's Law from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco can be found here.

FHFA U.S. House Price Index Purchase Only (SA %) Feb Jan Dec Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Total 0.6 0.4 0.6 6.9 7.7 3.4 -4.0
  Pacific 1.4 0.7 0.5 14.3 16.6 4.9 -6.8
  Mountain 1.2 0.5 0.7 11.2 12.8 8.1 -6.6
  South Atlantic 1.7 -0.3 1.3 7.5 8.2 4.0 -5.1
  West South Central 1.1 -0.2 1.7 6.2 6.2 4.3 -1.1
  East North Central 0.8 -0.3 0.8 5.8 5.5 2.2 -3.6
  West North Central -0.0 1.0 0.2 4.7 5.1 3.4 -3.2
  East South Central 0.4 0.7 1.4 4.5 4.5 2.5 -2.6
  Middle Atlantic -1.6 1.7 -1.2 1.5 2.9 0.0 -3.1
  New England -2.5 1.4 -1.2 0.6 3.9 -0.1 -2.2

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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