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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA Home Price Increase Perks Up
by Tom Moeller  September 22, 2015

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increased 0.6% during July (5.8% y/y), the quickest rate of increase since February. It followed an unrevised 0.2% June gain. The three-month rate of increase improved slightly to 4.8%, still below the 8.0% rate of growth as of December. The three-month gain remained well under the 11.5% rate reached early in 2013.

Prices were strongest during July in the Mountain region where they jumped 1.6% (9.4% y/y). In the West North Central region, prices gained 1.2% (4.6% y/y) and amongst the Middle Atlantic states prices rose 1.0%, the strongest rise since March.

Moderate home price increases were demonstrated in the East South Central region with a 0.8% gain (4.4% y/y). Home prices rose 0.7% both in the Pacific (8.1% y/y) and West South Central (6.9% y/y) areas.

Home prices declined 1.2% in the New England area (+2.2% y/y) and by 0.1% in the East North Central Region.

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.

Comments on the Recent Monetary Policy Decision from Dennis Lockhart, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is available here.

FHFA U.S. House Price Index Purchase Only (SA %) Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total 0.6 0.2 0.4 5.8 5.6 7.5 3.3
  Mountain 1.6 -0.0 0.8 9.4 7.6 12.3 7.8
  Pacific 0.7 0.1 0.5 8.1 9.6 16.1 4.9
  West South Central 0.7 0.3 0.8 6.9 5.8 6.2 4.0
  South Atlantic 0.4 0.2 0.6 6.3 6.0 8.1 3.8
  East North Central -0.1 0.5 0.8 4.8 4.8 5.4 2.1
  West North Central 1.2 -0.7 -0.1 4.6 4.2 4.9 3.2
  East South Central 0.8 -0.7 -0.5 4.4 3.7 4.4 2.2
  Middle Atlantic 1.0 0.3 -0.2 3.0 2.4 2.8 -0.1
  New England -1.2 1.9 -0.4 2.2 3.2 3.9 -0.2

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, 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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