Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| May 28 2024

U.S. FHFA House Prices Edge Up in March

  • FHFA HPI +0.1% (+6.7% y/y) in Mar. vs. +1.2% (+7.1% y/y) in Feb.
  • House prices rise m/m in four of nine census divisions, w/ the highest rate in Middle Atlantic (1.5%).
  • House prices gain y/y in all of the nine regions, w/ the highest rate in Middle Atlantic (11.0%).

U.S. house prices ticked up 0.1% m/m in March following a 1.2% rise in February (unrevised) and a 0.1% easing in January (unrevised), according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index. The latest reading was the 18th m/m gain in 19 months. The March HPI at 423.42 was 50.2% above a low of 281.89 in May 2020. The year-on-year rate of increase eased to 6.7% in March after accelerating to 7.1% in February (the highest since Nov. ’22); it was up from 3.8% in March 2023 but well below a high of 18.9% in February 2022.

The FHFA also reported quarterly house price data today. House price appreciation showed signs of softening. In Q1'24, house prices grew 1.1% q/q, the sixth straight quarterly increase, slowing from a 1.5% gain in Q4'23. The y/y rate quickened to 6.6% in Q1, the fastest since Q4'22, after rising to 6.5% in Q4.

The month-on-month increases in house prices were evident in March (vs. February) in four of the nine census divisions. These included Middle Atlantic (1.5% vs. 2.0%), East North Central (0.7% vs. 1.2%), West South Central (0.3% vs. 0.2%), and South Atlantic (0.1% vs. 1.3%). To the downside, house prices fell m/m in four census divisions in March (vs. February): Pacific (-1.0% vs. 1.8%), New England (-0.7% vs. 2.7%), East South Central (-0.4% vs. 1.4%), and Mountain (-0.2% vs. 0.4%). Meanwhile, house prices in West North Central were virtually unchanged m/m in March following two consecutive monthly increases.

Year-on-year house prices continued to gain in March, with the pace of advance accelerating (vs. February) in two of the nine census divisions. These were Middle Atlantic (11.0% vs. 10.2%) and Mountain (5.7% vs. 4.6%). Meanwhile, house price growth decelerated y/y in March (vs. February) in the following six census divisions: East South Central (4.6% vs. 5.1%), Pacific (5.6% vs. 7.0%), West North Central (6.4% vs. 7.1%), South Atlantic (6.6% vs. 7.2%), East North Central (8.5% vs. 9.2%), and New England (9.3% vs. 10.8%). House price growth in West South Central held essentially steady at 3.5% 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 refinancing the same kind 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.

  • Winnie Tapasanun has been working for Haver Analytics since 2013. She has ~20 years of working in the financial services industry. As Vice President and Economic Analyst at Globicus International, Inc., a New York-based company specializing in macroeconomics and financial markets, Winnie oversaw the company’s business operations, managed financial and economic data, and wrote daily reports on macroeconomics and financial markets. Prior to working at Globicus, she was Investment Promotion Officer at the New York Office of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) where she wrote monthly reports on the U.S. economic outlook, wrote reports on the outlook of key U.S. industries, and assisted investors on doing business and investment in Thailand. Prior to joining the BOI, she was Adjunct Professor teaching International Political Economy/International Relations at the City College of New York. Prior to her teaching experience at the CCNY, Winnie successfully completed internships at the United Nations.   Winnie holds an MA Degree from Long Island University, New York. She also did graduate studies at Columbia University in the City of New York and doctoral requirements at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her areas of specialization are international political economy, macroeconomics, financial markets, political economy, international relations, and business development/business strategy. Her regional specialization includes, but not limited to, Southeast Asia and East Asia.   Winnie is bilingual in English and Thai with competency in French. She loves to travel (~30 countries) to better understand each country’s unique economy, fascinating culture and people as well as the global economy as a whole.

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