Home/Mortgages/National Home Prices Continue to Improve

November 1, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home prices in the United States improved for the ninth time in the last ten months, increasing by 0.7 percent from July to August according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI).

July’s home prices were 4.7 percent higher than they were a year ago, the seventh consecutive month that annual home prices have improved after having declined every month since August 2007. Home prices are at roughly the same levels last seen in June 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 August, while two were unchanged from the previous month and one declined. The Pacific Division reported the most improvement, increasing 3.0 percent, followed by the Middle Atlantic Division with a 1.1 percent gain and the New England Division posted a 0.8 percent improvement.

The East South Central Division posted the only decline of 0.8 percent while the West South Central and the South Atlantic Divisions remained unchanged from the previous month.

All nine of the Divisions registered year-over-year price gains with the Mountain Division posting the largest yearly increase of 11.4 percent followed by the Pacific Division with an 8.1 percent annual gain. The Middle Atlantic Division reported the smallest year-over-year increase of 0.4 percent.

FHFA August Price Index

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