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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Inflation Remains Modest
by Tom Moeller  June 24, 2020

• Prices declined or were unchanged in several areas.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Price Index improved 0.2% during April following a 0.1% uptick in March. The y/y gain eased slightly to 5.5%. Over the past three months, house price inflation fell to 4.8% (AR), down from 9.0% in February.

Prices declined 0.5% (+5.2% y/y) in the South Atlantic region and by 0.2% (+5.3% y/y) in New England.

In the Pacific region (5.5% y/y) and in the Mountain states (6.8% y/y), prices were fairly steady m/m. In the Middle Atlantic region, prices ticked 0.1% higher (5.0% y/y).

Prices were strong in the West South Central region where they rose 0.8% (5.1% y/y).

Increases of 0.6% were logged both in the East North Central (5.8% y/y) and West North Central (5.3% y/y) regions. Prices improved 0.5% (5.9% y/y) in the East South Central region 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 %)
Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
Total 0.2 0.1 0.9 5.5 5.3 6.6 6.4
  New England -0.2 1.0 0.7 5.3 4.5 5.3 5.6
  Middle Atlantic 0.1 -0.2 0.8 5.0 4.5 5.4 4.8
  East North Central 0.6 0.1 1.2 5.8 5.5 6.5 5.9
  West North Central 0.6 -0.4 1.2 5.3 5.1 6.1 5.2
  South Atlantic -0.5 0.1 0.8 5.2 5.8 7.2 6.6
  East South Central 0.5 0.2 0.8 5.9 5.8 6.1 5.6
  West South Central 0.8 0.3 0.5 5.1 4.7 5.3 6.2
  Mountain 0.0 0.8 1.1 6.8 7.1 9.1 8.4
  Pacific -0.0 0.1 0.8 5.5 4.7 7.5 8.5
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