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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Prices Remain Firm
by Tom Moeller  October 24, 2018

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index for house purchases increased 0.3% (6.1% y/y) during August following a 0.4% gain during July, revised from 0.2%. Over the last three months, the index rose at a lessened 3.8% annual rate, down from a 9.9% rate of increase six months earlier.

Prices in the Mountain region were little changed m/m but rose a strong 8.4% y/y. The Pacific region posted a firm 0.8% m/m increase (7.3% y/y) while home prices in the South Atlantic region rose 0.4% (6.8% y/y).

Lesser y/y increases in home prices were logged in the East North Central region where they edged 0.2% higher m/m and 6.1% y/y. Home prices in the West North Central region improved 0.1% (6.0% y/y) and in the East South Central region prices gained 0.3% (5.6% y/y).

In New England the house price index rose a strong 0.7, but just 5.2% y/y. The home price index for the West South Central region improved 0.4% (4.5% y/y), and amongst the Middle Atlantic states prices declined 0.7% (+4.0% 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 %)
Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y 2017 2016 2015
Total 0.3 0.4 0.3 6.1 6.7 6.1 5.4
  New England 0.7 -0.1 -0.0 5.2 5.9 4.1 3.3
  Middle Atlantic -0.7 0.3 0.6 4.0 4.9 3.7 2.6
  East North Central 0.2 0.4 0.4 6.1 6.1 5.4 4.3
  West North Central 0.1 0.4 0.5 6.0 5.4 5.6 4.0
  South Atlantic 0.4 1.0 -0.3 6.8 7.0 7.0 6.2
  East South Central 0.3 -0.2 1.0 5.6 5.9 5.1 4.6
  West South Central 0.4 -0.0 0.0 4.5 6.5 5.8 6.2
  Mountain -0.0 -0.1 0.7 8.4 8.8 7.9 7.6
  Pacific 0.8 0.4 0.5 7.3 8.7 8.0 7.7

 

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, 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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