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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Increase Improves
by Tom Moeller  January 25, 2017

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices rose 0.5% during November after a 0.3% gain in October, revised from 0.4%. The y/y change remained fairly steady at 6.1%, but the three-month annualized growth of 6.2% was down from September's firmer 7.9%.

On a monthly basis, prices rose in each area of the country except the South Atlantic and West South Central regions. The monthly gain was strongest in the Pacific states where prices rose 1.5% (7.7% y/y). In the East South Central region, prices also firmed by 1.2% (5.5% y/y).

Elsewhere, much of the country also experienced firm home price growth. In the West North Central area prices rose 0.9% (5.6% y/y), as they did in the Middle Atlantic states (4.7% y/y). In the Mountain states, prices increased 0.8% (7.5% y/y), and the New England region experienced the same gain (5.6% y/y).

Weakness in home prices was registered in the East North Central region where they held steady m/m (5.4% y/y). Declines in prices were experienced in the South Atlantic region where they fell 0.2% (+6.2% y/y). In the West South Central states, prices slipped 0.1% (+5.8% y/y).

The FHFA house price index is a weighted repeat sales index, measuring 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 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.5 0.3 0.7 6.1 5.7 5.4 7.3
  Pacific 1.5 0.0 1.4 7.7 7.9 9.5 15.8
  Mountain 0.8 1.1 0.8 7.5 7.9 7.2 12.3
  South Atlantic -0.2 0.4 0.9 6.2 6.5 5.8 7.8
  West South Central -0.1 0.1 1.0 5.8 6.4 5.6 6.0
  West North Central 0.9 -0.1 0.6 5.6 4.4 4.1 4.8
  New England 0.8 1.0 0.2 5.6 3.4 3.1 3.7
  East South Central 1.2 -0.6 0.1 5.5 4.8 3.5 4.0
  East North Central 0.0 0.5 0.3 5.4 4.6 4.5 5.3
  Middle Atlantic 0.9 0.2 0.2 4.7 2.8 2.2 2.7

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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