This month’s release from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) includes monthly house price indexes for the US and the 9 Census divisions for March, and quarterly house price indexes for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and metropolitan statistical areas for the first quarter of 2012.
The national FHFA purchase-only seasonally adjusted index shows house prices up 1.8 percent in March from February, and up 2.7 percent from March 2011, the cyclical trough. All 9 Census divisions are up in March from February, with increases ranging from 0.7 percent to 3.1 percent and averaging of 1.7 percent. Increases from one year ago range from 0.6 percent to 4.0 percent with an average of 3.4 percent.
Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, results are mixed but encouraging, with 31 areas higher in the first quarter than in the fourth quarter, and 33 areas higher than one year ago. Measured from recent lows, 42 areas are above their troughs by an average of 2.5 percent. This is an increase from 38 areas last quarter. Of these 42 areas that have turned the corner, 9 have done so in the last six months, 28 in the prior six months and the remaining 5 bottomed out at least one year ago.
In nine states house prices have yet to bottom out: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington. However, with the exception of Delaware, there has been a significant deceleration in the rate of decline in these states. Excluding Delaware the average decline was 1.0 percent in the last quarter, 2.2 percent from a year ago, down from 4.9 percent in the year before. In Delaware house price declines accelerated in the most recent quarter.
To see the full history for FHFA house price indexes at the national and state levels click here: fhfa.
Data at MSA level is available at FHFA’s website: http://www.fhfa.gov/Default.aspx?Page=216