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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Inflation Slows
by Tom Moeller  May 26, 2020

• Weakening is broad-based around the country.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index edged 0.1% higher during March following a 0.8% February gain, revised from 0.7%. The y/y gain nevertheless remained steady at 5.9%. Over the past three months, the increase in prices fell to 6.2% from 9.2% in February.

Monthly price increases were strongest in New England (6.8% y/y) and the Mountain (8.5% y/y) regions of the country.

Price gains slowed in the West South Central (4.2% y/y), the East South Central (6.6% y/y), the South Atlantic (6.2% y/y) and the Pacific (6.1% y/y) states.

Prices either held steady or declined in the East North Central (5.5% y/y), the West North Central (4.5% y/y) and the Middle Atlantic (5.4% y/y) regions of the country.

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 %)
Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
Total 0.1 0.8 0.5 5.9 5.3 6.6 6.4
  New England 1.0 0.8 0.6 6.8 4.5 5.3 5.6
  Middle Atlantic -0.2 1.0 0.7 5.4 4.5 5.4 4.8
  East North Central 0.0 0.9 0.6 5.5 5.5 6.5 5.9
  West North Central -0.6 1.3 0.3 4.5 5.1 6.1 5.2
  South Atlantic 0.1 0.8 0.7 6.2 5.8 7.2 6.6
  East South Central 0.2 0.7 0.6 6.6 5.8 6.1 5.6
  West South Central 0.3 0.4 -0.3 4.2 4.7 5.3 6.2
  Mountain 0.8 1.1 0.4 8.5 7.1 9.1 8.4
  Pacific 0.2 0.7 0.8 6.1 4.7 7.5 8.5
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