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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA House Price Index Rose Further in November
by Sandy Batten  January 26, 2021

• House prices rose 1.0% m/m, the sixth consecutive monthly increase of 1.0% or more.

• Prices were up 11.0% y/y, a series record annual increase.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index increased 1.0% m/m in November following an unrevised 1.5% m/m gain in October. This was the sixth consecutive month in which house prices had risen by 1.0% or more. Prior to this six-month run, this index had risen 1% or more in only five months in the series history dating back to January 1991. Compared to a year ago, house prices were up 11.0%, the highest annual rate of increase in the series history. Over the past six months, house prices rose 17.2% annualized, also their highest six-month advance ever.

House prices rose in each census division in November from October and also in November from a year ago. Seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes in November from October ranged from +0.3% in the West South Central division to +1.6% in the Pacific division. The 12-month changes ranged from +8.7% in the West South Central division to +14.0% in the Mountain division. Annual advances were at series highs in four of the nine divisions.

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 %)
Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
Total 1.0 1.5 1.7 11.0 5.3 6.5 6.3
  New England 1.2 2.1 2.1 12.8 4.6 5.1 5.6
  Middle Atlantic 0.4 1.7 2.1 10.6 4.5 5.3 4.7
  East North Central 1.1 1.5 1.5 10.4 5.4 6.4 5.8
  West North Central 0.4 0.8 2.0 9.7 5.1 6.0 5.1
  South Atlantic 1.2 1.6 1.6 11.2 5.7 7.0 6.5
  East South Central 1.2 0.8 2.0 11.8 5.9 6.0 5.5
  West South Central 0.3 1.3 0.9 8.7 4.7 5.2 6.0
  Mountain 1.3 1.6 2.0 14.0 7.1 9.0 8.3
  Pacific 1.6 1.7 13.8 11.8 4.7 7.3 8.4
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