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Economy in Brief

U.S. FHFA Home Price Index Increase Firms
by Tom Moeller  May 25, 2016

The U.S. House Price Index, from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), increased 0.7% (6.1% y/y) during March following a 0.5% gain during February, revised from 0.4%. It was the quickest rise in six months and improved the y/y gain to 6.1% after a 5.7% increase during all of last year. During the first quarter, home prices rose 1.3% and 5.7% y/y.

Prices were strongest y/y in the Pacific region (9.5% y/y) and amongst the Mountain states (8.6% y/y).

Improved annual rates of increase occurred in the South Atlantic (7.0% y/y), and in the West South Central states (6.8% y/y). Home prices also firmed by steady 5.2% y/y in the East North Central region, but by an easier 5.1% y/y in the West North Central zone.

Home price improvement was weakest in New England (3.3% y/y) and amongst the Middle Atlantic states (2.3% 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.

Household Formation among Young Adults from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

FHFA U.S. House Price Index, Purchase Only (SA %) Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total 0.7 0.5 0.4 6.1 5.7 5.6 7.5
  Pacific 1.2 1.2 0.1 9.5 7.9 9.6 16.1
  Mountain 1.7 0.7 0.7 8.6 8.0 7.5 12.3
  South Atlantic 0.8 -0.3 1.1 7.0 6.5 6.0 8.1
  West South Central 0.9 0.9 -0.1 6.8 6.6 5.8 6.2
  East North Central 0.7 0.4 0.7 5.2 4.6 4.7 5.4
  West North Central 0.0 -0.1 0.8 5.1 4.4 4.1 4.9
  East South Central 0.2 0.1 -0.3 4.1 4.9 3.6 4.2
  New England -0.2 -0.1 0.4 3.3 3.5 3.2 3.9
  Middle Atlantic -0.3 1.6 -0.9 2.3 2.7 2.4 2.8


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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