Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Jul 25 2023

U.S. FHFA House Prices Rise for the Fifth Straight Month in May

  • FHFA HPI +0.7% m/m in May; +2.8% y/y at an 11-year low.
  • House prices rise m/m in eight of nine census divisions; prices in New England fall.
  • House prices in the Mountain region and the Pacific region continue to drop y/y.

U.S. house prices rose 0.7% m/m in May after rises of 0.7% in April (unrevised) and 0.6% in March (+0.5% previously), according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index. The May reading was the fifth consecutive monthly gain to the highest index level on record. The year-on-year rate of increase decelerated to 2.8% in May from 3.1% in April; it was the smallest y/y rate since May 2012 and significantly down from a 19.1% high in February 2022.

The month-on-month increases in house prices were evident in May in eight of the nine census divisions: Pacific (+1.7%), East North Central (+1.3%), South Atlantic (+0.6%), West South Central (+0.6%), West North Central (+0.6%), Mountain (+0.3%), Middle Atlantic (+0.1%), and East South Central (+0.1%). In contrast, house prices in New England fell 0.5% m/m in May, the first monthly fall since December, after a 2.0% April increase.

Year-on-year house prices rose mostly in May, but the pace of advance decelerated (vs. April) in five of the nine census divisions. These included Middle Atlantic (5.0% vs. 5.8%), East South Central (4.4% vs. 5.7%), South Atlantic (4.0% vs. 4.8%), New England (3.7% vs. 5.6%), and West South Central (2.4% vs. 3.4%). Meanwhile, house prices accelerated in May (vs. April) in East North Central (5.5% vs. 5.4%) and West North Central (4.0% vs. 3.9%). To the downside, year-on-year house prices continued to decline in May in the Mountain region (-2.7%, the third straight y/y fall) and the Pacific region (-1.7%, the fifth straight y/y fall).

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 almost 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 (almost 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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