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FHFA House Purchase Prices Fall 3% Since 2009

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The purchase price of homes fell 1.9% in Q110 compared with the previous quarter, and 3.1% compared with the year-ago quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The yearly depreciation slowed by more than half from the 7% decline seen at the same time last year. The monthly index rose 0.3% in March after falling 0.2% in February. Inflation-adjusted house prices, however, fell 6.3% over last year. Of the nine Census divisions, the South Atlantic and Middle Atlantic showed the most divergent quarterly price movements, FHFA said. Prices fell 3.1% in the South Atlantic but only 0.3% in the Middle Atlantic. Purchase-only prices rose in four states and Washington DC in the most recent quarter, and in eight states and Washington DC over the last four quarters: The FHFA index on all transactions, including purchase and refinance mortgages, fell 1.6% from the previous quarter and 6.8% from last year. The FHFA house price index is based on mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). FHFA's quarterly results arrive after a separate index put Q110 national house prices 3.2% below the previous quarter, but 2% above year-ago levels. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: the author holds no relevant investments.

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