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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Improvement Slows
by Tom Moeller  April 23, 2019

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index for house purchases rose 0.3% in February following an unrevised 0.6% January increase. The 4.9% y/y increase was the weakest since early-2015, down from a 7.6% high early in 2018.

Monthly increases in prices were strongest in the East South Central and New England regions of the country, although y/y increases were either moderately below or stable with last year.

Home price inflation decelerated sharply in the East North Central, West North Central, West South Central and Pacific regions of the country.

Declines in house prices were logged in February in both the Middle Atlantic and Mountain regions. Twelve-month price increases slowed dramatically after strengthening during all of last year.

The FHFA house price index is a weighted purchase-only index that measures average price changes in repeat sales of the same property. 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 %)
Feb Jan Dec Feb Y/Y 2018 2017 2016
Total 0.3 0.6 0.3 4.9 6.7 6.6 6.0
  New England 1.1 -0.6 0.9 4.3 5.5 5.8 4.1
  Middle Atlantic -1.2 0.8 0.5 3.8 5.5 4.9 3.6
  East North Central 0.6 1.1 0.5 5.7 6.5 6.0 5.3
  West North Central 0.2 0.5 0.5 4.9 6.2 5.4 5.6
  South Atlantic 0.4 0.6 0.3 5.5 7.2 6.8 6.9
  East South Central 1.4 0.1 -0.2 6.4 6.3 5.8 5.0
  West South Central 0.4 0.8 -0.2 3.5 5.4 6.5 5.7
  Mountain -0.5 1.0 0.4 6.5 9.3 8.6 7.8
  Pacific 0.2 0.3 0.5 3.7 7.7 8.6 8.0

 

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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