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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Continues to Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  December 23, 2020

• Home price gain sets record for third straight month.

• Prices continue to strengthen regionally.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index increased 1.5% during October following an unrevised record 1.7% September increase. The series dates back to January 1991. Over the past year, house prices have increased 10.2%, the fastest pace since September 2005. In the last three months, prices have risen at a 20.9% annual rate, up from 5.9% twelve months earlier.

Home prices were firm across the country. Monthly price gains were strongest in New England where they rose 2.1% (12.5% y/y). Prices rose 1.7% in the Middle Atlantic (10.4% y/y), Mountain (12.5% y/y) and Pacific (10.6% y/y) regions.

Prices rose 1.6% in the East North Central (10.3% y/y), 1.5% in the South Atlantic (9.8% y/y) and 1.2% (8.4% y/y) in the West South Central regions.

Monthly gains of 0.9% were logged in the West North Central (9.5% y/y) and East South Central (10.2% 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 %)
Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
Total 1.5 1.7 1.6 10.2 5.3 6.5 6.3
  New England 2.1 2.2 1.8 12.5 4.6 5.1 5.6
  Middle Atlantic 1.7 2.1 1.9 10.4 4.5 5.3 4.7
  East North Central 1.6 1.4 1.3 10.3 5.4 6.4 5.8
  West North Central 0.9 1.8 1.5 9.5 5.1 6.0 5.1
  South Atlantic 1.5 1.6 1.6 9.8 5.7 7.0 6.5
  East South Central 0.9 2.0 1.2 10.2 5.9 6.0 5.5
  West South Central 1.2 0.9 1.7 8.4 4.7 5.2 6.0
  Mountain 1.7 2.0 1.8 12.5 7.1 9.0 8.3
  Pacific 1.7 1.8 1.8 10.6 4.7 7.3 8.4
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