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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Remains on Solid Footing
by Tom Moeller  October 25, 2017

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices rose 6.6% y/y during August, roughly the same as during the last three months. This compared to a peak 7.1% y/y gain in April. During the last three months, prices improved at a slower 4.8% annual rate. During August alone, prices rose 0.7%, the best increase in five months.

The performance of home prices continued to vary greatly around the country. On the strong side were the Pacific and Mountain regions where prices rose 9.2% y/y and 8.4% y/y, respectively.

These strong y/y gains were followed by the South Atlantic, West South Central and East South Central regions where prices rose roughly 6.0%-6.5% y/y.

Slower house price inflation occurred amongst states in Middle Atlantic, New England and the West North Central regions.

The FHFA house price index is a weighted repeat sales index, measuring 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 %)
Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total 0.7 0.4 0.1 6.6 6.2 5.6 5.4
  Pacific 1.4 -0.5 0.4 9.2 8.1 8.0 9.4
  Mountain 0.5 0.5 0.4 8.4 8.0 7.9 7.2
  South Atlantic 0.4 0.7 -0.0 6.7 7.2 6.5 5.8
  West South Central 0.8 0.2 -0.4 6.5 6.1 6.4 5.6
  East South Central 0.6 0.3 1.1 6.1 5.3 4.8 3.5
  East North Central 0.6 0.8 -0.1 5.7 5.4 4.5 4.5
  West North Central 0.5 -0.3 0.3 5.7 5.7 4.3 4.1
  New England -0.1 0.6 0.3 5.3 4.0 3.6 3.1
  Middle Atlantic 0.6 0.7 0.3 5.0 3.6 2.7 2.2


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

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