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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Increase Strengthens
by Tom Moeller  October 25, 2016

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices increased 0.7% during August following an unrevised 0.5% July gain. The y/y change improved to 6.4% as the three-month increase rose to 6.2%, its best since April.

Seasonally adjusted house prices rose in each region of the country, except in the West North Central region.

The 1.1% price rise in East North Central region raised yearly growth to a record 6.7%. A 1.2% rise in the South Atlantic states pulled the y/y increase to an improved 7.4%, as the 1.2% gain in New England raised the y/y increase to 4.6%, nearly its best of the expansion. Prices increased 0.9% in the East South Central and improved the y/y gain to 6.5%, its best since late-2006.

While improved m/m at 0.4%, the annual price rise in the Middle Atlantic region was fairly steady at 3.3%. In the West North Central region home prices were unchanged, and the y/y gain eased to 5.1%. The West South Central states realized a 0.4% price. The y/y gain moderated to 5.9%.

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 %) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.7 0.5 0.3 6.4 5.7 5.6 7.5
  Pacific 0.5 0.5 -0.2 7.9 7.9 9.6 16.1
  Mountain 0.4 0.4 0.4 7.6 8.0 7.5 12.3
  South Atlantic 1.2 0.3 0.8 7.4 6.5 6.0 8.1
  East North Central 1.1 0.2 0.5 6.7 4.6 4.7 5.4
  East South Central 0.9 1.1 -0.3 6.5 4.9 3.6 4.2
  West South Central 0.4 0.6 0.5 5.9 6.6 5.8 6.2
  West North Central 0.0 1.1 0.4 5.1 4.4 4.1 4.9
  New England 1.2 0.1 0.2 4.6 3.5 3.2 3.9
  Middle Atlantic 0.4 0.3 0.2 3.3 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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