FHFA Quarterly HPI Up Slightly in Q309
US house prices inched slightly higher in Q309 compared to Q209 in the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI). The HPI uses sales price information from mortgages acquired by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), which increased 0.2% quarter-over-quarter. Year-over-year, the purchase-only HPI decreased 3.8% in the third quarter. The seasonally adjusted monthly index held steady in September, after declining a revised 0.5% from July to August. “These data provide some evidence of short-term stabilization in housing prices, a likely result of the many ongoing efforts to stabilize markets,” said FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco. “Given the headwinds facing markets, including high unemployment rates and continued high levels of delinquency and foreclosures, the longer-term view remains uncertain.” The national purchase-only HPI decreased 3.8% from Q308 to Q309, higher than the 2.8% decrease of other goods and services during the same period. Adjusted for inflation, house prices decreased 1%. A second HPI that measures GSE-acquired purchase and refinance mortgages decreased 2.4% from Q209 to Q309 and 4.1% year-over-year. Regionally, the greatest month-over-month price decrease was in the East South Central Census Division, which experienced a 2.1% decline, followed by decreases in the Middle Atlantic (1.2%), Mountain (0.7%) and West South Central (0.1%) divisions. The East North Central experienced the greatest increase at 1.1%, followed by increases in the South Atlantic (0.7%), New England (0.4%), West North Central (0.2%) and the Pacific (0.1%). Year-over-year, the Mountain Division experienced the greatest decrease at 8.3%, followed by decreases in the Pacific (5.2%), Middle Atlantic (4.4%), East South Central (2.9%), South Atlantic (3.2%), New England (1.8%), East North Central (1.3%), West south Central (0.8%), and the West North Central (0.6%). Write to Austin Kilgore.