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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Inflation Picks Up
by Tom Moeller  June 22, 2017

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices rose at a 9.1% annualized rate during the last three reported months, the strongest rate since May 2013. During April, the index increased 0.7% (6.9% y/y) following a like rise in March, revised from 0.6%.

The performance of home prices continued to vary greatly around the country. On the strong side was the Mountain region where prices rose 8.9% y/y. That was followed by the South Atlantic states with an 8.0% y/y increase. Also strong were house prices amongst the Pacific states where they rose 7.6% y/y.

Showing slightly softer rates of increase were states in the West South Central region where prices rose 7.1% y/y. Prices in the East North Central region improved 6.2% y/y, while in the East South Central region prices increased 6.0% y/y. 

The slowest house price inflation occurred amongst states in New England where prices rose 5.4% y/y. The same y/y price increase was logged in the Middle Atlantic region. A slower 4.8% y/y rate of house price inflation occurred in the West North Central region of the country.    

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 %)
Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total 0.7 0.7 0.8 6.9 6.2 5.6 5.4
  Mountain 1.0 0.7 1.2 8.9 8.0 7.9 7.2
  South Atlantic 1.4 1.1 -0.1 8.0 7.2 6.5 5.8
  Pacific 0.2 1.5 0.3 7.6 8.1 8.0 9.4
  West South Central 1.6 0.1 0.9 7.1 6.1 6.4 5.6
  East North Central 0.1 1.1 0.8 6.2 5.4 4.5 4.5
  East South Central -0.1 -0.3 2.2 6.0 5.3 4.8 3.5
  New England 0.1 0.1 2.0 5.4 4.0 3.6 3.1
  Middle Atlantic 0.7 -0.0 1.6 5.4 3.6 2.7 2.2
  West North Central -0.1 0.7 0.4 4.8 5.7 4.3 4.1

Mountain: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
South Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Pacific: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington.
West South Central: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.
East North Central: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
East South Central: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Middle Atlantic: New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
West North Central: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

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