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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Increases
by Peter D'Antonio  December 27, 2018

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index for house purchases rose 0.3% (5.7% y/y) during October following a 0.2% September rise. Home price appreciation has eased noticeably this year. Over the past six months, the index increased at a 4.4% annual rate, down from a 6.9% annual rate of increase six months earlier.

Most regions experienced a step-down in price gains this year, but the most pronounced decelerations were in the Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic and West South Central regions. In fact, in October, prices actually fell 0.2% in the Middle Atlantic region (+6.0% y/y) and 0.6% the South Atlantic region (-0.6%, +5.8% y/y), while prices were nearly stagnant in the West South Central region (+3.9% y/y).

Prices in the Pacific region rebounded 1.4% in October (+6.7% y/y) after a surprising 0.8% decline in September, while the Mountain region added to previous strong gains (8.5% y/y). The East North Central region posted a firm 0.7% increase (6.6% y/y), and West North Central home prices bounced back 1.1% (6.2% y/y). East South Central prices increased 0.6% (4.3% y/y). In New England, home prices gained 0.3% (4.6% 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 %)
Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2017 2016 2015
Total 0.3 0.2 0.4 5.7 6.7 6.1 5.4
  New England 0.3 0.5 0.7 4.6 5.9 4.1 3.3
  Middle Atlantic -0.2 0.3 -0.4 3.3 4.9 3.7 2.6
  East North Central 0.7 0.7 0.4 6.6 6.1 5.4 4.3
  West North Central 1.1 -0.2 0.3 6.2 5.4 5.6 4.0
  South Atlantic -0.6 0.5 0.5 5.8 7.0 7.0 6.2
  East South Central 0.6 0.0 0.4 4.3 5.9 5.1 4.6
  West South Central 0.1 0.1 0.4 3.9 6.5 5.8 6.2
  Mountain 0.2 1.2 0.7 8.5 8.8 7.9 7.6
  Pacific 1.4 -0.8 0.7 6.7 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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