July 4th, 2015 | Home Sales
Moderate FHFA Home Price Index Gain in April
June 23, 2015 by Paul Ausick
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported this morning that U.S. home prices rose 0.3% month over month in April. Compared with April 2013, the house price index has gained 5.3%. The index increase reported for March was unchanged from the initial report of a 0.3% month-over-month gain from February.
The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses with mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The index is 2.3% below its April 2007 peak and is roughly equivalent to its level in February 2006.
For the past 12 months, gains have been greatest in the Pacific states, up 7.5%, and the least in the Mid-Atlantic states, which are up 2.3%. The year-over-year index rose in all nine Census Bureau divisions.
The April index value posted an 18-month high of 221.7. The consensus estimate for April called for an increase in a range of 0.3% to 0.6%.
Home prices posted month-over-month gains in seven Census Bureau divisions and declines in two: East North Central (down 0.8%) and Mid-Atlantic (down 0.3%). The West North Central region posted the largest month-over-month price gain, up 1.4%. The East South Central region was up 0.9%; the Pacific and New England regions, up 0.7%; the South Atlantic region, up 0.5%; the West South Central Region, up 0.2%; and the Mountain region was unchanged.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported new home sales later Tuesday morning. The consensus forecast called for a rise in the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales to 525,000 in May, up from 517,000 in the previous month, but the figure came in at a 546,000, an increase of 2.2% from the upwardly revised April rate of 534,000.