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FHFA House Price Index

In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses the FHFA house price index.

  • FHFA house price index data shows that prices rose again in August.
  • FHFA data released today showed prices rose 0.7 percent from July to August (after an adjustment for the typical pattern seen in price data). If prices rose at that pace for a year, the year-over-year gain would be more than 8 percent.
  • In the 12 months from August 2011 to August 2012, home prices rose 4.7 percent in the US, compared to 3.7 percent in the 12 months ending July 2012.
  • Different regions have seen different price patterns. For example, prices rose a robust 1.1 percent in the Middle Atlantic in August, a division that includes New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. By comparison, prices slipped in the East South Central division, an area that includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, by 0.5 percent.
  • Compared to one year ago, the Mountain division states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico saw the biggest increase of 11.4 percent while prices gained only a modest 0.4 percent in the Middle Atlantic in the same time period.
  • Using the FHFA index to track prices over a longer period of time, prices are roughly in line with their June 2004 levels.
  • FHFA uses Fannie and Freddie data on purchase mortgages to construct the house price index. Quarterly data out next month will have much more local detail including information on state and metro area prices.

Danielle Hale, Director of Housing Statistics

As a Research Economist at NAR, Danielle studies tax issues, the wealth impact of home ownership, and different measures of home prices.

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