Home prices rose during each month of the first quarter, continuing a climb that began in the early part of this decade, a new report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed.
The FHFA’s House Price Index for March, which is the most recent data available, showed that seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.6% from February.
Overall, house prices rose 1.4% during the first quarter of 2017, the FHFA report showed. On a year-over-year basis, house prices rose 6% from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.
“The steep, multi-year rise in U.S. home prices continued in the first quarter,” FHFA Deputy Chief Economist Andrew Leventis said.
“Mortgage rates during the quarter remained slightly elevated relative to most of last year, but demand for homes remained very strong,” Leventis added. “With housing inventories still languishing at extremely low levels, the strong demand led to another exceptionally large quarterly price increase.”
Low inventory is also a concern of the National Association of Realtors, as its latest existing home sales report showed that home sales fell in April and homes flew off the market at a rate not seen since 2011.
The FHFA report also showed that home prices rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.
(Click the image to enlarge. Image courtesy of the FHFA.)
According to the FHFA report, the top five areas in annual appreciation were: District of Columbia at 13.9% Colorado at 10.7%; Idaho at 10.3%; Washington at 10.2%; and New Hampshire at 9.5%.
The FHFA report also showed that among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., the annual price increase in Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan was the highest in the nation, at 13.7%.
Prices were weakest in San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California, where prices fell by 2.5%.
Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division showed the strongest increase in the first quarter, with a 2% quarterly increase and a 7.7% increase since the first quarter of 2016, the FHFA report showed.
Additionally, the report showed that house price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose by just 1% from the last quarter.