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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA Home Price Index Increase Improves
by Tom Moeller  April 22, 2015

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increased 0.7% during February (5.4% y/y) following an unrevised 0.3% January rise. The three-month gain in prices remained stable at 7.3%, up from 3.3% in June.

Prices were strongest during February in the South Atlantic region which posted a 1.8% gain (6.4% y/y). On a three-month basis prices rose at an 8.4% rate. In New England, a 1.6% rise (6.4% y/y) left three-month growth at 11.0%. Amongst the Mountain states, a 1.2% price improvement (6.7% y/y) caused prices to surge at a 14.2% annual rate in the last three months.

Moderate price increases were logged in the Pacific region where they gained 0.8% (6.9% y/y) but that was enough to leave three-month growth firm at 9.9%. In the East North Central region, prices gained 0.6% (4.6% y/y) and they rose at a 7.7% rate since November. Home prices improved 0.4% (3.6% y/y) in the West North Central region and at a 3.8% rate in the last three months.

Home prices were softer in the Middle Atlantic region where they gained just 0.1% (2.6% y/y) and rose at a 0.8% rate during the last three months. A 0.1% uptick (6.7% y/y) also was logged in the West South Central region but they improved at an 8.4% rate during the last three months. Finally, prices declined 1.3% (+3.3% y/y) in the East South Central region. During the last three months prices gained just 0.5% at an annual rate.

The FHFA house price index is a weighted repeat sales index. It measures average price changes in repeat sales. An associated quarterly index also includes refinancings on the same properties. The indexes are 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 %) Feb Jan Dec Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total 0.7 0.3 0.8 5.4 5.6 7.6 3.3
  Pacific 0.8 0.1 1.5 6.9 9.7 16.3 4.9
  West South Central 0.1 1.2 0.8 6.7 5.8 6.2 4.3
  Mountain 1.2 0.7 1.4 6.7 7.6 12.5 7.9
  South Atlantic 1.8 -0.2 0.4 6.4 5.9 8.2 3.9
  New England 1.6 0.6 0.4 6.4 3.2 4.0 -0.2
  East North Central 0.6 -0.1 1.3 4.6 4.8 5.5 2.1
  West North Central 0.4 0.1 0.4 3.6 4.2 4.9 3.2
  East South Central -1.3 2.1 -0.6 3.3 8.7 4.4 2.4
  Middle Atlantic 0.1 -0.6 0.7 2.6 2.3 2.9 -0.1

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, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, GA & 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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