November 30, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

After falling in August, monthly home prices bounced back 0.9 percent in September according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index (HPI), but home prices are still 2.2 percent lower than they were in September 2010.

Since the market peak in April 2007, home prices have declined almost 19 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.

From August to September, eight of the nine Census Divisions posted price gains with only the East South Central Division posting a decline of 0.2 percent from the previous month.

The West North Central Division posted the largest price gain of 2.5 percent followed by the East South Central Division which posted a price increase of 1.5 percent. None of the other Divisions posted a gain of over one percent.

All of the Divisions but one experienced year-over-year price declines with the Pacific Division posting the largest decline of 5.7 percent. The only area that did not report a decline in home prices was the West North Central division, where prices remained unchanged from the previous year.

This month’s report also included results from the third quarter. According to the third quarter purchase-only HPI, home sales prices were 0.2 percent higher than in the second quarter and were 3.7 percent lower than in the third quarter of 2010.

FHFA’s third quarter all-transactions HPI was 0.9 percent higher than the second quarter but was 4.3 percent lower than the third quarter of last year. The all-transactions HPI includes data from mortgages used for both home purchases and refinancings.

FHFA HPI September

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