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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA Home Price Index Increases Steadily
by Tom Moeller  March 22, 2016

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) during January increased 0.5% for the third consecutive month. The annual rate of increase has been fairly steady near 6.0% since 2014.

Prices were strongest in the South Atlantic region where they rose 8.9% y/y, and accelerated to an 11.6% annual rate of growth during the last three months. In the Pacific region, prices 7.3% y/y and at an 8.2% annual rate in the last three months. The rise was followed by a 7.1% y/y increase in the Mountain states, but the rate cooled to 4.2% recently.

Prices rose 6.3% y/y in the West North Central region and have accelerated to 8.4% since October. Prices in the West South Central region gained 5.2% y/y, but the rate of increase slowed to 2.1% recently. In the East North Central region, house prices rose 5.1% y/y, and at 5.5% in the last three months.

Home prices rose roughly 4.5% y/y in the New England and East South Central regions, but the pace nearly doubled in both recently. In the Middle Atlantic states, house prices rose 1.7% y/y, but declined at a 2.1% rate in the last three months.

The FHFA house price index is a weighted repeat sales index. It measures average price changes in repeat sales of the same property. An associated quarterly index also 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 %) Jan Dec Nov Jan Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.5 0.5 0.5 6.0 5.7 5.6 7.5
  South Atlantic 1.7 0.7 0.3 8.9 6.5 6.0 8.1
  Pacific 0.0 0.4 1.6 7.3 7.9 9.6 16.1
  Mountain 0.8 -1.6 1.8 7.1 8.0 7.5 12.3
  West North Central 1.2 0.4 0.5 6.3 4.4 4.1 4.9
  West South Central 0.3 0.1 0.0 5.2 6.5 5.8 6.2
  East North Central 0.4 0.8 0.1 5.1 4.6 4.7 5.4
  New England 0.8 1.1 0.1 4.7 3.5 3.2 3.9
  East South Central 0.1 1.5 0.4 4.6 4.9 3.6 4.2
  Middle Atlantic -1.0 0.4 0.1 1.7 2.4 2.4 2.8

New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Middle Atlantic: New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
East North Central: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
West North Central: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
South Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, GA & FL
East South Central: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
West South Central: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.
Mountain: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Pacific: Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California.

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