The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released monthly home price indexes for August today. House prices nationally increased 0.7% from July levels on a seasonally adjusted basis. This brings the cumulative gain for 2012 to 4.6% after being essentially flat through 2011.
Around the country, six of the nine Census divisions posted modest gains in August from July, ranging from 0.2% in the Mountain states to 3.0% in Pacific states. House prices were essentially flat in the West South Central and South Atlantic divisions, and declined a modest 0.5% in the East South Central division.
All nine divisions followed the national pattern with a relatively flat performance in 2011, but the year-to-date gains in 2012 have been somewhat uneven, ranging from a low of 0.9% in the Middle Atlantic division to a high of 10.4% in the Mountain division.
It is important to note however, the general pattern that emerges: the areas with the largest recent percentage gains are those that rose the highest during the boom and fell the most during the bust. Those areas where the rise and fall was less extreme are recovering less lost ground and posting smaller percentage gains. This observation brings into focus the point that to accurately gauge the pace of recovery in house prices around the country it is important to consider the broader perspective of the extent of increases and declines in the different areas revealed in the full histories of the indexes.
For full histories of the FHFA US and 9 Census divisions, click here fhfa9.