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Mortgage

FHFA: home prices increase almost 3 years straight

Low inventory pushes prices higher

Despite a weak start to real estate transactions in the first quarter, home prices continued to trend higher and increased for the eleventh consecutive quarter, rising 1.3% in the first quarter of 2014, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index.

Compared to last year, house prices escalated 6.6% from the first quarter 2013 to the first quarter 2014. The FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up .7% from February.

"Modest inventories of homes available for sale likely played a significant role in driving the price increase, which was similar to appreciation in the preceding quarter," said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. 

Out of the 50 states, the HPI increased in 42 and the District of Columbia, up from 38 states in the fourth quarter of 2013. The top annual appreciation was in: (1)Nevada, (2)District of Columbia, (3)California, (4)Arizona and (5)Florida.   

In addition, the Pacific and Mountain census divisions—the two divisions that saw the greatest price increases between March 2012 and March 2013—witnessed substantive declines over the past year. 

The Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report measuring March sales, also released Tuesday, echoes the FHFA findings for the first quarter.

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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