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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Posts Another Record Increase
by Tom Moeller  November 24, 2020

• Home price gain sets record for second straight month.

• Prices strengthen across the country.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index jumped 1.7% during September following an unrevised 1.5% August increase. The September gain was the largest monthly increase in the series' history, which dates back to January 1991. Over the past year, house prices have increased 9.1%, the fastest pace since February 2006. In the last three months, prices have risen at a 19.3% annual rate. up from 5.7% twelve months ago.

Home prices were strong across the country. Monthly price gains were strongest in Middle Atlantic (9.6% y/y), New England (10.1% y/y) and Mountain (11.2% y/y) sections.

Prices rose 1.8% in the West North Central (8.6% y/y), East South Central (9.3% y/y) and Pacific (9.7% y/y) regions.

Lesser monthly gains were logged in the South Atlantic (8.8% y/y), East North Central (8.7% y/y) and West South Central (7.7% y/y) regions of the country.

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 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 %)
Sep Aug Jul Sep Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
Total 1.7 1.5 1.2 9.1 5.3 6.5 6.3
  New England 2.2 1.7 1.9 10.1 4.6 5.1 5.6
  Middle Atlantic 2.4 1.8 1.5 9.6 4.5 5.3 4.7
  East North Central 1.5 1.2 1.5 8.7 5.4 6.4 5.8
  West North Central 1.8 1.5 0.8 8.6 5.1 6.0 5.1
  South Atlantic 1.6 1.5 1.0 8.8 5.7 7.0 6.5
  East South Central 1.8 1.2 1.1 9.3 5.9 6.0 5.5
  West South Central 1.0 1.7 0.8 7.7 4.7 5.2 6.0
  Mountain 2.0 1.7 1.4 11.2 7.1 9.0 8.3
  Pacific 1.8 1.6 1.3 9.7 4.7 7.3 8.4
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