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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA Home Price Index Posts Steady Rise
by Tom Moeller  April 21, 2016

The U.S. House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) during February increased 0.4% (5.6% y/y) for a second consecutive month.

Prices were strongest y/y in the Pacific region (8.4% y/y) and amongst the Mountain states (6.8% y/y).

Moderate annual rates of increase occurred in the South Atlantic (5.8% y/y), and in the West North Central states (5.6% y/y). Home prices also firmed by 5.4% y/y in the West South Central region, and by 4.7% y/y in the East North Central zone.

Home price gains were weaker in the East South Central region (4.7% y/y), and amongst the Middle Atlantic states (3.9% y/y). In the New England region, prices grew the least (2.5% y/y).

The FHFA house price index is a weighted repeat sales index. It 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 %) Feb Jan Dec Feb Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.4 0.4 0.5 5.6 5.7 5.6 7.5
  Pacific 1.0 0.1 0.5 8.4 7.9 9.6 16.1
  Mountain 0.5 0.8 -1.4 6.8 8.0 7.5 12.3
  South Atlantic -0.7 1.3 0.6 5.8 6.5 6.0 8.1
  West North Central 0.2 0.6 0.4 5.6 4.4 4.1 4.9
  West South Central 0.7 -0.2 0.5 5.4 6.5 5.8 6.2
  East North Central 0.4 0.7 0.7 4.7 4.6 4.7 5.4
  East South Central -0.1 -0.1 1.6 4.7 4.9 3.6 4.2
  Middle Atlantic 1.7 -0.9 0.5 3.9 2.4 2.4 2.8
  New England -0.0 0.2 1.1 2.5 3.5 3.2 3.9

New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Middle Atlantic: New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
East North Central: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
West North Central: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
South Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, GA & FL
East South Central: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
West South Central: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.
Mountain: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Pacific: Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California.

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