The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released monthly home price indexes for October today. The national house price index increased 0.5% from the September level on a seasonally adjusted basis. The index is now 5.6% higher than its low point in March 2011. Most of the gain occurred in 2012.
Among the nine Census divisions, seven posted gains for the month ranging from 0.4% to 2.0%. The Middle Atlantic and New England divisions had modest declines of 1.3% and 0.3%, respectively. All nine divisions remain above earlier troughs established mostly in the first half of 2011. The Pacific and Middle Atlantic divisions hit bottom in February 2012. The East South Central division was the earliest to turn the corner in December 2010. Current gains since the troughs ranged from 0.8% in the Middle Atlantic division to 13.4% in the Mountain division.
Most parts of the country have seen steady gains in house prices so far in 2012. The Middle Atlantic and New England divisions are the exceptions having remained essentially flat since early 2011. But some of the current slow growth in these divisions can be interpreted as the absence of a strong rebound following the steep declines seen in some other areas. There is a tendency for the areas where house prices declined the most to have strong rebounds. Three of the four divisions with the largest gains in house prices include the states where the house price bubbles and subsequent declines were the largest: California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida.
For full histories of the FHFA price indexes for the US and 9 Census divisions, click here fhfa9.