Home/Mortgages/FHFA: Home Prices Improve for Second Consecutive Month

March 7, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home prices in the United States increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in December which follows a similarly revised 0.7 percent gain in November according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI).

December’s home prices were still 0.8 percent lower than they were a year ago and since the market peak in April 2007, home prices have declined over 18 percent and are at roughly the same levels last seen in March 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.

Six of the nine Census Divisions posted monthly price gains in December with the Mountain Division recording the most improvement of 2.5 percent. Two Divisions posted declines in home prices while one Division, the Middle Atlantic, remained unchanged from the previous month. Of the two Divisions that posted declines, the West North Central Division posted the largest decline of 0.9 percent.

Seven of the Divisions registered year-over-year price declines with the Pacific Division posting the largest decline of 3.8 percent. The only two Divisions that posted an increase in annual home prices were the East South Central Division and the West South Central Division which posted increases of 3.0 and 1.7 percent, respectively.

FHFA Dec 2011 03-07-12

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