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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Gains Remain Robust
by Kathleen Stephansen, CBE  September 28, 2021

• Monthly price increases exceed 1.5% in the majority of regions.

• Y/Y rise reaches a new record high.

• Mountain states continue to lead the annual price increases.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index increased 1.4% in July (19.2% y/y) following a rise of 1.7% (18.9% y/y) in June. The June price increase was revised slightly up from 1.6% (18.8% y/y). These follow strong 1.9% monthly increases in April and May. The home price series dates back to January 1991.

By region, house prices remain firm throughout the country. The strongest year-on-year price increases were registered in the Mountain region (25.6% y/y), the Pacific region (22.0% y/y), New England (20.8% y/y), and the South Atlantic region (20.1% y/y). Other regions posted robust increases as well: the East South Central region (18.3% y/y), Middle Atlantic (17.9% y/y), the West South Central region (17.7% y/y), East North Central (16.2% y/y), and West North Central (15.5% y/y).

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 2020 2019 2018
Total 1.4 1.7 1.9 19.2 7.9 5.2 6.3
  New England 1.3 1.1 2.4 20.8 8.3 4.7 5.2
  Middle Atlantic 1.6 1.0 1.2 17.9 7.5 4.4 5.2
  East North Central 0.9 1.5 1.6 16.2 7.8 5.4 6.3
  West North Central 0.8 1.0 2.2 15.5 7.2 5.1 5.7
  South Atlantic 1.9 2.0 2.0 20.1 8.2 5.5 6.8
  East South Central 1.7 1.8 1.6 18.3 8.2 5.8 5.9
  West South Central 1.6 2.0 1.4 17.7 6.4 4.5 5.0
  Mountain 1.6 2.7 2.3 25.6 9.9 7.0 9.0
  Pacific 1.3 1.7 2.4 22.0 8.1 4.6 7.1
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