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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Prices Continued to Rise in April
by Sandy Batten  June 28, 2022

• House prices rose to another record level although annual growth slowed slightly.

• Strength was broad-based across regions.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index increased 1.6% during April (18.8% y/y) following a 1.6% increase in March, revised up slightly from 1.5%. The FHFA noted that "The inventory of homes on the market remains low, which has continued to keep upward pressure on sales prices. Increasing mortgage rates have yet to offset demand enough to deter the strong price gains happening across the country." This was the 23rd consecutive month that the monthly change has been 1% or more. Prior to the recent period, the monthly increase had equaled or exceeded 1% only six times since the series began in 1991. While the annual rate of increase slowed, it remained historically quite elevated, down only slightly from the series high of 19.3% y/y reached in July 2021 and February 2022.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from March 2022 to April 2022 ranged from 0.3% m/m in the East South Central division to 2.5% m/m in the West South Central division. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from 14.1% y/y in the Middle Atlantic division to 23.5% y/y in the South Atlantic division. The 16.1% y/y rise in the west North Central division equaled a series high as did the 19.2% y/y gain in the West South Central division.

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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