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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA Home Price Index Increases Steadily
by Tom Moeller  February 25, 2016

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) increased 0.4% during December following a 0.6% November gain, revised from 0.5%. For all of 2015, prices increased a steady 5.7%. During the last three months, prices rose at a 6.1% rate.

Prices were strongest during the last twelve months in the Pacific region where they rose 7.7%, 8.9% in the last three months. The rise was followed by a 7.1% increase in the Mountain states, but the rate cooled in the last three monts. Prices rose 6.9% in the East South Central region, but they jumped 11.6% recently. There was steady 6.6% y/y growth in the South Atlantic area.

Home prices rose between 4.0% and 6.0% from the West South central states to New England, but they gained only a steady 2.6% 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 %) Dec Nov Oct Dec Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.4 0.6 0.5 5.7 5.7 5.6 7.5
  Pacific 0.3 1.5 0.3 7.7 7.9 9.6 16.1
  Mountain -1.6 2.0 0.7 7.1 8.0 7.5 12.3
  East South Central 1.9 0.4 0.5 6.9 4.9 3.6 4.2
  South Atlantic 0.5 0.4 0.8 6.6 6.5 6.0 8.1
  West South Central 0.2 0.1 0.6 5.8 6.5 5.8 6.2
  West North Central 0.3 0.5 0.5 5.0 4.4 4.1 4.9
  East North Central 0.6 0.3 0.5 4.3 4.6 4.7 5.4
  New England 1.0 0.2 -0.7 4.1 3.5 3.2 3.9
  Middle Atlantic 0.8 -0.1 -0.0 2.6 2.7 2.4 2.8

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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