Upward momentum in home prices remained strong in the first quarter of this year due to the Federal Reserve quantitative easing program, which continues to help asset prices rise in the housing market.
As a result, home prices inched upward 1.9% from the previous quarter. This is the seventh consecutive quarterly price rise in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
From the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, home prices rose 6.7%.
“The housing market has stabilized in many areas and homebuilding activity has strengthened in recent quarters,” said Andrew Leventis, principal economist of FHFA.
He added, "That said, labor market weakness and still-elevated foreclosure pipelines remain hindrances to a more robust recovery."
The FHFA house price index, which is calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, rose 1.3% over the last quarter.
The FHFA HPI revealed that of the nine census divisions, the strongest increase in home prices was in the Pacific, which posted a 4.4% price increase in the latest quarter. Conversely, the Middle Atlantic division posted the weakest come prices, increasing 0.3% from the prior quarter.
Of the 75 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., the Jacksonville, Fla. metropolitan statistical area reported the greatest price increase, with a 9.3% jump between the further and first quarters. The Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk, CT, metro saw a 3.5% drop in prices over that same period.
The monthly seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S. has increase for 14 consecutive months, the FHFA explained.