Home/Mortgages/FHFA: Home Prices Improve for the Fourth Time in Five Months

May 25, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home prices in the United States increased 1.8 percent from February to March, marking the fourth time in the last five months that monthly home prices have improved according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI),

March’s home prices were 2.7 percent higher than they were a year ago, the second 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 April 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.

All nine Census Divisions posted monthly price gains in March with the Pacific Division recording the most improvement of 3.2 percent, followed by the East North Central Division with a 2.6 percent gain and the East South Central Division which recorded a monthly price gain of 2.4 percent.

The New England and South Atlantic Divisions shared the smallest increases of 0.7 percent.

All nine of the Divisions also registered year-over-year price gains with the West South Central Division posting the largest yearly increase of 4.0 percent followed by the East South Central Division where prices improved by 3.9 percent and the Mountain Division with a gain of 3.6 percent.

The Middle Atlantic Division was the only Division to see a year-over-year increase of less than one percent.

FHFA March Home Prices

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