October 9, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home prices in the United States inched upward by 0.2 percent from June to July according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI), the eighth time in the last nine months that monthly home prices have improved.

June’s home prices were 3.7 percent higher than they were a year ago, the sixth 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 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 July with the Mountain Division reporting the most improvement of 1.3 percent followed by the West North Central Division with a 1.0 percent gain and the West South Central Division with a 0.7 percent improvement.

The East South Central Division posted the largest decline of 0.8 percent while the Middle Atlantic and the South Atlantic Districts reported declines of 0.7 and 0.1 percent, respectively, for the month.

Seven of the nine Divisions registered year-over-year price gains with the Mountain Division posting the largest yearly increase of 11.9 percent followed by the West South Central Division with a 4.9 percent annual gain. The New England and Middle Atlantic Divisions reported the only declines, falling 0.5 and 1.4 percent, respectively.


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