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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Appreciation Continues to Moderate
by Tom Moeller  October 23, 2019

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index increased 0.2% in August, following an unrevised 0.4% increase in July. During the last twelve months, home prices improved 4.6%, the weakest growth since late 2014. That growth was down from a 7.4% peak early in 2018. During the last six months, prices increased at a 3.5% annual rate, the slowest pace since early 2012.

Home price movement varied greatly during August. It was strongest in New England where prices rose an improved 0.9% (5.0% y/y). In the East North Central (5.3% y/y) and the West North Central (4.7% y/y) regions, prices rose 0.5%. Home prices also rose an improved 0.4% (4.7% y/y) in the West South Central section of the country.

In the Middle Atlantic states home prices rose 0.2% (3.9% y/y) after a 0.3% rise, but in the Pacific region they were unchanged (3.9% y/y) following a 0.5% increase.

House price deflation was logged in three regions during August, with the largest decline coming in prices in the East South Central area where they fell 0.8% (+4.0% y/y). Prices also ticked 0.1% lower in the South Atlantic (+4.2% y/y) and Mountain (+6.5% y/y) regions, the latter following a 1.2% July surge.

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 2018 2017 2016
Total 0.2 0.4 0.2 4.6 6.7 6.5 6.0
  New England 0.9 0.7 -0.2 5.0 5.4 5.8 4.1
  Middle Atlantic 0.2 0.3 -0.2 3.9 5.5 4.8 3.6
  East North Central 0.5 0.6 0.2 5.3 6.5 6.0 5.2
  West North Central 0.5 0.2 0.2 4.7 6.2 5.3 5.5
  South Atlantic -0.1 0.2 0.0 4.2 7.3 6.7 6.8
  East South Central -0.8 0.2 1.0 4.0 6.2 5.7 5.0
  West South Central 0.4 0.1 0.9 4.7 5.4 6.3 5.6
  Mountain -0.1 1.2 0.1 6.5 9.2 8.6 7.8
  Pacific 0.0 0.5 0.2 3.9 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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