October 26, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home prices fell for the first time in four months in August according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index (HPI), declining by 0.1 percent from July. Home prices were four percent lower than in August 2010.

FHFA also revised July’s Index to reflect no change in prices from June to July wiping out the previously reported 0.8 percent gain.

According to data in the Index, home prices have declined 19.1 percent below the April 2007 peak and are roughly at the same levels last seen in February 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.

From July to August, only one of the nine Census Divisions posted a price gain while two Divisions remained unchanged from the previous month and six Divisions posted losses.

The South Atlantic Division posted a price gain of 0.9 percent while the West South Central and East South Central Divisions remained unchanged from last month. The West North Central Division posted the largest monthly decline of 1.3 percent.

All nine Divisions experienced year-over-year price declines with the Mountain Division posting the largest decline of 7.6 percent while the East South Central Division posted the smallest decline of 1.9 percent.

FHFA HPI for August 2011

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