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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Treads Water in October
by Sandy Batten  December 21, 2017

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices rose 6.6% y/y in October, up only slightly from a 6.5% y/y increase in September. While this reading is down from the recent peak of 7.1% in April, the annual pace of house price appreciation has been relatively stable throughout 2017, fluctuating between 6.5% and 7.1%. In the month of October, prices rose 0.5% m/m, the same increase as in September and slightly above the consensus market expectation. Over the past three months, prices have increased at a 7.4% annual rate.

The annual performance of home prices continued to vary significantly across the country. On the strong side were the Pacific, Mountain and East South Central regions where prices rose 8.7% y/y, 8.2% y/y and 8.2% y/y, respectively.

These relatively strong y/y gains were followed by the South Atlantic, East North Central and Middle Atlantic regions where prices increased roughly 6.0% y/y.

Somewhat slower annual house price appreciation occurred in the New England, West South Central and West North Central regions.

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 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 %)
Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total 0.5 0.5 0.8 6.6 6.2 5.6 5.3
  Pacific 0.0 0.8 1.5 8.7 8.1 7.9 9.3
  Mountain 0.8 1.1 0.2 8.2 8.0 7.8 7.1
  East South Central 2.8 -0.6 0.4 8.2 5.2 4.8 3.3
  South Atlantic 0.1 0.4 0.8 6.2 7.2 6.3 5.6
  East North Central 0.6 0.7 0.4 6.1 5.4 4.5 4.4
  Middle Atlantic 1.2 0.3 0.8 6.0 3.8 2.6 2.1
  New England 0.7 0.5 0.3 5.7 4.1 3.5 2.9
  West South Central 0.1 0.1 1.2 5.5 6.1 6.3 5.5
  West North Central -0.4 0.7 0.5 4.8 5.7 4.1 4.0


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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