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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Posted a Strong Rise in February
by Kathleen Stephansen, CBE  April 26, 2022

• House prices rise to set a new historical record.

• House price increase partly reflects supply constraints.

• Mountain states lead the y/y increase.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index increased 2.1% (19.4% y/y) during February, following a rise of 1.6% (18.2% y/y) in January. House prices rose to set a new historical record, owing in part to supply constraints, according to the Agency. It was the largest monthly increase since last April. The home price series dates back to January 1991.

Like January, the 12-month price changes were led by the Mountain (24.3% y/y), South Atlantic (24.1% y/y), East South Central (20.8% y/y) and Pacific (20.3% y/y). The other census divisions exhibited strong price rises as well, such as West South Central (19.1% y/y), New England (17.6% y/y), Middle Atlantic (15.7% y/y), West North Central (15.4% and East North Central (15.3% 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.

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