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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Momentum Eases
by Tom Moeller  September 22, 2016

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices increased 0.5% during July following a 0.3% June gain, revised from 0.2%. While the y/y change of 5.8% was fairly steady, the three month gain of 4.2% (AR) was below last year's gain of 5.7%, and the 7.5% rise during all of 2013.

Seasonally adjusted house prices rose in each region of the country.

The 1.0% price rise in the East South Central region left them up 5.4% y/y. A 0.9% price rise in the West North Central region pulled the y/y increase to 6.0%, the strongest rise of the recovery. A 0.6% increase in the Pacific region resulted in a steady 7.7% y/y rate of gain.

Prices in the East North Central region increased a modest 0.3%, and the three-month gain of 3.0% was below its 2013 peak of 5.3%. Prices in New England gained 0.3%, but over the last three months fell at a 4.0% rate. Also to the weak side were prices in the Middle Atlantic region, up 0.2% and a modest 2.6% y/y.

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 %) Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.5 0.3 0.3 5.8 5.7 5.6 7.5
  Pacific 0.6 -0.3 -0.1 7.7 7.9 9.6 16.1
  Mountain 0.5 0.5 0.8 7.3 8.0 7.5 12.3
  South Atlantic 0.3 0.7 0.3 7.0 6.5 6.0 8.1
  West North Central 0.9 0.3 -0.1 6.0 4.4 4.1 4.9
  West South Central 0.6 0.4 0.6 5.9 6.6 5.8 6.2
  East South Central 1.0 -0.3 0.8 5.4 4.9 3.6 4.2
  East North Central 0.3 0.4 0.0 4.9 4.6 4.7 5.4
  New England 0.3 0.1 -1.3 3.4 3.5 3.2 3.9
  Middle Atlantic 0.2 0.2 1.0 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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