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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Gains Continue to Diverge
by Tom Moeller  January 24, 2018

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) index of U.S. house prices rose 6.6% y/y during November. The rate of increase has picked up from its low of 5.2% in 2014. In the month of November, prices rose 0.4% m/m after a 0.6% October gain, revised from 0.5%. It was the weakest rate of increase since July. Over the past three months, prices have increased at a 6.2% annual rate.

The annual performance of home prices continued to vary significantly across the country. On the strong side were the Mountain, Pacific and South Atlantic regions where prices rose roughly between 7.0% to 9.0% y/y.

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

Slower annual house price appreciation occurred in the East South Central, New England and Middle Atlantic 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 %)
Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total 0.4 0.6 0.5 6.6 6.2 5.6 5.2
  Mountain 0.7 0.9 1.2 9.0 8.0 7.8 7.1
  Pacific 0.7 0.1 0.9 8.7 8.1 7.8 9.2
  South Atlantic 0.8 0.1 0.4 6.9 7.2 6.3 5.6
  East North Central 0.5 0.6 0.8 6.3 5.4 4.5 4.4
  West North Central 0.9 0.2 0.7 6.0 5.7 4.1 4.0
  West South Central 0.1 0.4 0.3 5.9 6.1 6.3 5.5
  East South Central -1.1 2.6 -0.4 5.5 5.2 4.8 3.3
  New England -0.1 0.7 0.5 5.0 4.1 3.5 2.9
  Middle Atlantic 0.0 0.9 0.4 4.2 3.8 2.6 2.1


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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