FHFA Reports Q3 Home Prices Rising 0.2 Percent Nationwide
Home prices in the United States rose in the third quarter of 2011, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI). The HPI, calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-acquired mortgages, was 0.2 percent higher on a seasonally adjusted basis in the third quarter than in the second quarter. On an unadjusted basis, prices rose 0.7 percent during the quarter. Over the past year, seasonally adjusted home prices fell 3.7 percent from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.9 percent from its August value. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices were up 0.7 percent during the August to September period. Every census division but the East South Central division showed increases over the same period. “In most regions of the country, third-quarter home values were relatively stable, even in some areas that experienced sharp price declines in preceding quarters,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “While most housing markets still face stiff headwinds, the fact that some beleaguered states—such as Idaho, Florida and Utah—saw quarterly price increases is a positive development.” While the national, purchase-only house price index fell 3.7 percent from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011, prices of other goods and services rose 4.8 percent over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes fell approximately 8.1 percent over the latest year. FHFA’s all-transactions house price index, which includes data from mortgages used for both home purchases and refinancings, increased 0.9 percent in the latest quarter but is down 4.3 percent over the four-quarter period. Other findings in the FHFA's HPI include: ►The seasonally-adjusted purchase-only HPI declined in the third quarter in 21 states and the District of Columbia. ►Of the nine census divisions, the West North Central division experienced the strongest price gains in the latest quarter, posting a 1.5 percent price increase. ►Prices were weakest in the Pacific census division, where prices fell 0.5 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 Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. area which sawe price declines of 10.6 percent between the third quarters of 2010 and 2011. Prices held up best in the Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. metropolitan division, where prices rose four percent over that period.