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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA Home Price Index Remains Firm
by Tom Moeller  January 26, 2016

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increased 0.5% in November (5.9% y/y), the same as during October. Over the last three months, the annualized rate of change picked up to 7.5%, the quickest growth since December 2014.

Prices were strongest during November in the Mountain states where a 1.8% monthly increase (10.0% y/y) was the firmest since June 2012. A 1.5% rise (8.6% y/y) in the Pacific states also was largest since late-2012. In the South Atlantic region, a 0.8% rise in prices left growth firm at 7.6% y/y.

Moderate price increases were logged in the East North Central region where prices rose 0.5% (5.0% y/y) and in New England where a 0.3% rise lifted prices 3.7% y/y. Prices gained 0.2% (4.9% y/y) in the West North Central states but they declined elsewhere in the country. House prices fell 0.4% (+5.5% y/y) in the West South Central region. They also were off 0.2% (+3.3% y/y) in the East South Central states and ticked 0.1% lower (+2.6% y/y) in the Middle Atlantic states.

The FHFA house price index is a weighted repeat sales index. It measures average price changes in repeat sales of the same property. An associated quarterly index also includes refinancings on the same kinds of 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 are available in Haver's USECON database.

FHFA U.S. House Price Index, Purchase Only (SA %) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total 0.5 0.5 0.8 5.9 5.6 7.5 3.3
  Mountain 1.8 0.7 0.8 10.0 7.5 12.3 7.8
  Pacific 1.5 0.2 1.2 8.6 9.6 16.1 4.9
  South Atlantic 0.8 0.9 0.6 7.0 6.0 8.1 3.8
  West South Central -0.4 0.7 0.8 5.5 5.8 6.2 4.0
  East North Central 0.5 0.6 1.2 5.0 4.8 5.4 2.1
  West North Central 0.2 0.6 0.0 4.9 4.2 4.9 3.2
  New England 0.3 -0.7 1.4 3.7 3.2 3.9 -0.2
  East South Central -0.2 0.7 0.3 3.3 3.7 4.4 2.2
  Middle Atlantic -0.1 0.1 0.4 2.6 2.4 2.8 -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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