Home/Mortgages/FHFA: Annual Home Prices Improve for Fourth Consecutive Month

July 25, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home prices in the United States increased 0.8 percent from April to May, marking the sixth time in the last seven months that monthly home prices have improved according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI),

May’s home prices were 3.7 percent higher than they were a year ago, the fourth consecutive month that annual home prices have improved after having declined every month since July 2007. Home prices are at roughly the same levels last seen in May of 2004.

FHFA gathers its data by calculating purchase prices of houses backed by mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The data is then broken down into nine geographic Census Divisions.

Seven of the nine Census Divisions posted monthly price gains in May with the Pacific Division recording the most improvement of 1.7 percent, followed by the East North Central Division with a 1.5 percent gain and the New England Division which recorded a monthly price gain of 1.4 percent.

The West South Central Division posted the only decline of 1.0 percent while the East South Central Division remained unchanged from the previous month.

Eight of the nine Divisions registered year-over-year price gains with the Mountain Division posting the largest yearly increase of 6.3 percent followed by the East North Central Division and the Pacific Division which recorded an increase of 4.4 percent each.

The New England Division was the only area not to see an increase in home prices but remained unchanged from the previous year.

Census Divisions:

Pacific: Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California

Mountain: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico

West North Central: North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri

West South Central: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana

East North Central: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio

East South Central: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama

New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut

Middle Atlantic: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

South Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida

Tags: FHFA, home prices, HPI, census divisions, price gains, price declines