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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Appreciation Slower but Still Solid
by Gerald D. Cohen  September 24, 2019

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index increased 0.4% in July, following a slightly upwardly revised 0.2% increase in June (was 0.1%). Over the last year, home prices are up 5.0%, after growing 4.9% year-on-year in June, the first time home price appreciation had been below 5.0% y/y since late 2014. Over the last six months, prices have increased at a 3.9% annual rate, the slowest pace since early 2012. Based on this measure, home prices are up 22.5% from their 2007 peak. Adjusted for consumer price inflation, home prices are just 1.0% above their 2007 peak.

Home prices increased month-on-month in all of the nine census divisions, with price increases ranging from 0.1% in the Mid-Atlantic to 1.2% in the Mountain regions (3.6% and 7.6% y/y respectively). Those regions also represent the extremes in year-on-year growth rates, with most regions scattered around 4.8%.

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 %)
Jul Jun May Jul Y/Y 2018 2017 2016
Total 0.4 0.2 0.3 5.0 6.7 6.5 6.0
  New England 0.8 -0.5 0.3 4.5 5.4 5.8 4.1
  Middle Atlantic 0.1 -0.3 0.5 3.6 5.5 4.8 3.6
  East North Central 0.4 0.1 0.4 5.0 6.5 6.0 5.2
  West North Central 0.2 0.0 0.3 4.1 6.2 5.3 5.5
  South Atlantic 0.2 0.1 0.5 5.1 7.3 6.7 6.8
  East South Central 0.3 1.0 -0.5 5.6 6.2 5.7 5.0
  West South Central 0.2 1.0 -0.2 4.7 5.4 6.3 5.6
  Mountain 1.2 0.1 -0.2 7.6 9.2 8.6 7.8
  Pacific 0.5 0.2 0.5 4.6 7.5 8.6 8.0

 

New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Middle Atlantic: New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
5East 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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