The Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index for July released today rose 0.6%, beating expectations of 0.4% after a tepid performance in June.
From July 2014 to July 2015, house prices were up 5.8%, brushing against an 8-year high.
This compares to the index for June, which rose 0.2%, below the low-end forecast for 0.3% but still a respectable gain. In June, annualized price growth was 5.6%, while prices in the second quarter rose 5.4% compared to the second quarter of 2014.
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Sales rates are tracking at roughly double the pace of price growth, a mismatch that points ahead to price acceleration given how thin inventories are right now in the housing sector.
For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from June 2015 to July 2015 ranged from -1.2 % in the New England division to +1.6% in the Mountain division.
The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +2.1% in the New England division to +9.4% in the Mountain division.
The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.