U.S. house prices were 0.6 percent lower in the second quarter than in the first quarter of 2011 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally-adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI). The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-acquired mortgages. Over the past four quarters, seasonally adjusted prices fell 5.9 percent. The quarterly decrease came despite an increase in FHFA’s seasonally-adjusted monthly HPI for June of 0.9 percent. The June HPI was 18.8 percent below its April 2007 peak.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) HPI, which includes data from mortgages used for both home purchases and home refinancings, decreased 1.9 percent in the latest quarter and is down 4.5 percent over the four-quarter period.
While the national, purchase-only house price index fell 5.9 percent from the second quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2011, prices of other goods and services rose 4.5 percent over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes fell approximately 10 percent over the last year.
Significant findings of the July HPI include:
►The seasonally adjusted purchase-only HPI declined from the first quarter to the second quarter in 31 states.
►Of the nine census divisions, the New England and West South Central divisions experienced the strongest price gains in the latest quarter, with both posting 0.7 percent price increases. Prices were weakest in the Mountain census division, where prices fell 2.3 percent.
►As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 25 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., four-quarter price declines were greatest in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.area. That area saw price declines of 14.1 percent over the last four quarters.
►Prices held up best in Pittsburgh, where prices rose 3.7 percent over the last four quarters.