This week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released their housing price index data for March 2016. FHFA data showed that prices were up 6.1 percent in March from one year ago, slightly above the 5.8 to 6.0 percent year over year growth seen in November through February.
Last week the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported price data for April, and next week Case Shiller data will be reported for March.
NAR data showed that prices grew at a 5.1 percent pace from March 2015 to March 2016. NAR also reported on new April 2016 data which showed a bump up to 6.3 percent growth from one year ago.
Recent housing price data at the national level suggests that home prices continue to increase at a strong pace—still faster than what would be considered typical. Strong buyer demand and low inventories coupled with still relatively low levels of new construction are continuing to push prices up and keep housing market tipped in favor of sellers in most local markets. NAR’s pending home sales data, released today for April, surged 5.1% in the month, providing additional evidence that demand remains strong.
Of course, potential buyers and sellers should be sure to put the national numbers in the context of what is going on in their local markets. Some areas have been stronger while others have shown weakness driven largely by local factors. Sellers in these somewhat weaker areas may not have as much power to demand higher prices for their homes given the local market. How does your market compare to the national price trends?
NAR reports the median price of all homes that have sold while the Federal Housing Finance Agency report the results of a weighted repeat-sales index, a process that requires more data and more time to compute. For this reason, NAR data is released nearly a month ahead of FHFA data, and changes in the NAR median price tend to the FHFA data and currently suggest that additional strong price growth could be on the horizon.