FHFA Says Home Values Rise in Preliminary Index Reading
U.S. home prices rose for the first time in several months in May according to figures released on Wednesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
Housing Price Index (HPI) preliminary figures for the month projected that, nationwide, home prices were up 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from April’s figures. Those April figures, however, were revised to reflect a -0.3 percent change in prices instead of the -0.1 percent change estimated earlier.
The HPI is a measure of changes in same house sales prices. Purchase transactions are weighed against a data collected from repeat sales or refinancing of homes financed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae since 1991. By definition the data does not include new homes nor does it reflect purchases using government insured (FHA, VA) mortgages or non-conforming mortgages. Data is provided monthly on a national and regional basis and every three months a full report is issued which includes data on states and metropolitan statistical areas.
In spite of the up tick in prices in the April-May period, U.S. house prices have fallen 5.6 percent in the 12 months ending in May and the index has declined 10.7 percent since its high point in April 2007.
FHFA Direct James Lockhart stated “Revisions and volatility of the monthly index make it hard to draw any conclusions, but the seasonally-adjusted HPI for the first five months of this year is up 0.3 percent or 0.7 percent on an annualized basis.”
The Pacific Region has been the hardest hit during the recent downturn; the index in that region (HI, AK, WA, OR, CA) lost 16.0 percent of its value during the 12 month period ended in May, but it made the strongest showing in the current period with prices increasing 2.7 percent. The South Atlantic Region ((DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, NC, SC, GA, FL) was second with a 1.4 percent increase. In New England (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT) prices fell 2.0 percent.
FHFA is the regulator of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks and the regulator and conservator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
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