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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Increase Strengthened in October
by Kathleen Stephansen, CBE  December 28, 2021

• Gains are smaller than in the spring.

• Monthly house prices range is wide.

• In East South Central and Pacific regions, prices accelerated noticeably.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index increased 1.1% (17.4% y/y) in October following a 0.9% gain (17.8% y/y) in September. House prices continue to rise but at a slower pace than seen in the spring. The home price series dates back to January 1991.

Monthly house prices ranged from -0.3% in the New England region to +1.7% in the East South Central and Pacific regions. Year-on-year price changes ranged from 13.2% in the West North Central region to 23.2% in in the Mountain region.

Regional details show house prices were strongest in the East South Central where they rose 1.7% (18.9% y/y) and in the Pacific states where they rose 1.7% (19.9% y/y). Prices rose 1.4% (19.4% y/y) in the South Atlantic region, 1.3% (14.5% y/y) in the Middle Atlantic region and 1.1% (23.2% y/y) in the Mountain region. Softer monthly gains took place in the West South Central region, where prices rose 0.9% (17.2% y/y), in the East North Central region where prices rose 0.7% (13.9% y/y) and in the West North Central where prices rose 0.6% (13.2% y/y). The only monthly drop took place in the New England region, -0.3% (15.4% y/y), though it follows a sharp 1.7% rise in September.

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 2020 2019 2018
Total 1.1 0.9 0.9 17.4 7.9 5.2 6.3
  New England -0.3 1.7 -0.3 15.4 8.3 4.7 5.1
  Middle Atlantic 1.3 0.8 0.0 14.5 7.5 4.4 5.1
  East North Central 0.7 1.0 0.4 13.9 7.8 5.3 6.2
  West North Central 0.6 0.6 0.7 13.2 7.2 5.1 5.7
  South Atlantic 1.4 0.7 1.8 19.4 8.2 5.5 6.7
  East South Central 1.7 0.8 1.6 18.9 8.2 5.7 5.9
  West South Central 0.9 1.8 0.7 17.1 6.4 4.5 5.0
  Mountain 1.1 0.6 1.5 23.2 9.9 7.0 8.9
  Pacific 1.7 0.4 1.0 19.9 8.1 4.6 7.1
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