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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Increase Is Steady
by Tom Moeller  November 23, 2016

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices increased 0.6% during September following an unrevised 0.7% August gain. The y/y change remained fairly steady at 6.1%, but three-month growth in prices improved to 7.3%, its best since March.

Seasonally adjusted house prices rose in each region of the country, except New England.

Prices were strongest in Pacific region where a 1.3% rise lifted prices a steady 8.1% y/y. In the West South Central region prices followed with a 0.9% rise, leaving them up 6.6% y/y. A 0.7% increase in prices in the Mountain states pulled them 7.5% higher y/y, and a 0.5% price rise in the South Atlantic region left the y/y increase at 7.3%.

Lesser gains in prices were seen in the West North Central region where prices rose 0.4% (5.5% y/y). A 0.4% rise in the Middle Atlantic region left prices up 3.5%, while a 0.2% increase in the East North Central region pulled them 5.1% higher y/y. The house price index fell in New England by 0.2% (+3.0% 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 %) Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.6 0.7 0.5 6.1 5.7 5.4 7.4
  Pacific 1.3 0.6 0.5 8.1 7.9 9.5 15.9
  Mountain 0.7 0.4 0.4 7.5 7.9 7.2 12.3
  South Atlantic 0.5 1.2 0.3 7.3 6.5 5.8 7.8
  West South Central 0.9 0.4 0.6 6.6 6.4 5.7 6.0
  East South Central 0.1 0.8 1.1 5.7 4.8 3.6 4.0
  West North Central 0.4 -0.0 1.1 5.5 4.4 4.1 4.8
  East North Central 0.2 0.9 0.3 5.1 4.6 4.6 5.3
  Middle Atlantic 0.4 0.5 0.2 3.5 2.8 2.3 2.8
  New England -0.2 1.1 0.1 3.0 3.5 3.1 3.7

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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