House Prices Continue Their Ascent

Data released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) indicates that house prices rose by 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis over the month of February 2014. In addition, previous estimates of house price gains in January, 0.5%, and in December, 0.7%, were marked down slightly; to 0.4% and 0.6% respectively. February marks the 3rd consecutive monthly increase and the 24th increase in the past 25 months for FHFA’s House Price Index – Purchase Only. Over this 25-month period, the House Price Index – Purchase Only has risen by 15.0% and is now at roughly the same level as in June 2005.

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National house price appreciation is taking place because most areas of the country are experiencing house price increases. However, many regions of the country recorded monthly house price changes, up or down, that deviated significantly from the 0.6% national average. As the figure below illustrates, house prices in February rose in 6 of the nine Census Divisions, with 4 of these divisions, the South Atlantic, Pacific, Mountain, and West South Central divisions, posting monthly gains greater than 1.0%. However, these gains were partly offset by declines in other areas of the country. House prices in New England fell by 2.5% over the month while prices in the Middle Atlantic division declined by 1.6%. Meanwhile, house prices in the West North Central were unchanged over the month.

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For full histories of the FHFA US and 9 Census divisions, click here.



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