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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Traces Slower Growth Path
by Carol Stone, CBE  August 23, 2018

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index for house purchases rose 0.2% in June (6.5% y/y), following a 0.4% increase in May, which was revised from 0.2%. Over the last three months, the index was up at a 3.2% annual rate. The last two months show a marked slowing in that three-month pace back toward the range of 2011-2012.

By region, the Mountain states saw the strongest gain in June, 0.7% (9.6% y/y). The East South Central region prices were up 0.6% in the month (6.2% y/y). Prices in the Middle Atlantic region rose 0.5% m/m and 5.7% y/y. West North Central states saw a 0.4% gain in home purchase prices (5.9% y/y).

There was more modest 0.2% moves in the Pacific region and in the East North Central states, with prices in the Pacific area up 7.0% y/y and 6.5% in the East North Central area. In the West South Central region, June's prices edged up 0.1% (5.1% y/y).

Prices declined outright in New England and the South Atlantic states, by 0.4% in both regions, with New England up +5.2% y/y and the South Atlantic area, 6.6% y/y.

The FHFA house price index is a weighted purchase-only index that measures average price changes in repeat sales of the same property. An associated quarterly index 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 %)
Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2017 2016 2015
Total 0.2 0.4 0.3 6.5 6.7 6.1 5.4
  New England -0.4 0.7 0.6 5.3 5.9 4.1 3.3
  Middle Atlantic 0.5 0.0 -0.8 5.7 4.9 3.7 2.6
  East North Central 0.2 -0.3 0.8 6.5 6.1 5.4 4.3
  West North Central 0.4 0.5 0.0 5.8 5.5 5.6 4.0
  South Atlantic -0.4 0.6 0.5 6.7 7.0 7.0 6.2
  East South Central 0.6 1.5 0.2 6.3 5.9 5.1 4.6
  West South Central 0.1 0.5 -0.1 5.1 6.6 6.0 6.2
  Mountain 0.7 0.6 0.6 9.6 8.8 7.9 7.7
  Pacific 0.2 0.0 0.2 7.0 8.8 8.1 7.8

 

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, Georgia and Florida.
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: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington.

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