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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Loses Momentum
by Tom Moeller  August 24, 2016

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices rose a modest 0.2% in June for the third consecutive month. While the y/y change of 5.6% was fairly steady, the three month gain of 2.7% (AR) was the softest since early-2012.

Seasonally adjusted house prices rose in five regions of the country, but fell in the four other regions.

A 0.3% price gain in the West South Central left prices up 3.6% in three months, down from 9.3% growth one year ago. Prices in the Mountain region increased a firm 0.6%, but three-month growth eased to 4.8%, down from a 15.7% pace as of March. Prices rose 0.7% in the South Atlantic region leaving them up a slightly diminished 4.6% in three months. Prices were weaker in the East North Central region where a 0.3% rise left them up 0.8% in three months, after 8.0% growth late last year.

Prices in the Pacific region declined 0.4%, leaving the three-month change barely positive. Prices in the East South Central region eased 0.2%, and left them up a reduced 3.9% in three months. Prices fell 0.2% in New England and were up 2.3% in three months. Prices eased 0.1% in the Middle Atlantic region, but the 2.2% three-month rise compared to 6.3% nine months ago.

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 %) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.2 0.2 0.2 5.6 5.7 5.6 7.5
  Mountain 0.6 0.8 -0.3 8.6 8.0 7.5 12.3
  Pacific -0.4 -0.1 0.5 7.4 7.9 9.6 16.1
  South Atlantic 0.7 0.3 0.2 6.8 6.5 6.0 8.1
  West South Central 0.3 0.5 0.1 5.6 6.6 5.8 6.2
  West North Central 0.0 -0.1 0.8 5.1 4.4 4.1 4.9
  East South Central -0.2 0.8 0.3 4.8 4.9 3.6 4.2
  East North Central 0.3 -0.0 -0.1 4.1 4.6 4.7 5.4
  Middle Atlantic -0.1 0.9 -0.3 3.2 2.7 2.4 2.8
  New England -0.2 -1.4 2.2 1.8 3.5 3.2 3.9

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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