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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Gains Moderate
by Tom Moeller  May 28, 2019

With waning strength in housing starts and home sales, pricing power in the housing market has moderated. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index for house purchases rose 0.1% in March following a 0.4% gain during February, revised from 0.3%. It was the weakest m/m increase since January 2017, and it lowered y/y growth to 5.0%, down from the 7.6% high early in 2018.

Monthly increases in prices were strongest in the West North Central, Middle Atlantic and Mountain regions of the country.

Home price inflation was weak in during March in the West South Central and South Atlantic regions.

Declines in house prices occurred in several regions, including the East North Central, New England, East South Central and Pacific regions.

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 %)
Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y 2018 2017 2016
Total 0.1 0.4 0.5 5.0 6.7 6.6 6.0
  New England -0.6 1.3 -0.6 4.4 5.5 5.8 4.1
  Middle Atlantic 0.8 -0.9 0.8 3.0 5.5 4.9 3.6
  East North Central -0.8 1.0 0.9 5.1 6.5 6.0 5.3
  West North Central 1.1 0.2 0.5 5.8 6.2 5.4 5.6
  South Atlantic 0.1 0.7 0.5 5.6 7.2 6.8 6.9
  East South Central -0.4 1.6 0.1 6.2 6.3 5.8 5.0
  West South Central 0.3 0.3 0.6 4.4 5.4 6.5 5.7
  Mountain 0.7 -0.1 1.1 7.1 9.3 8.6 7.8
  Pacific -0.0 0.1 0.3 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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