Perhaps looking to compete with the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price indices, a new monthly index maintained by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight was released Tuesday -- within hours of the Case-Shiller numbers -- which showed that home prices among conformining mortgages fell 1.1 percent nationally between December 2007 and January 2008. The monthly drop compares to a 0.6 percent national price drop one month earlier, the GSE regulator said.
OFHEO Jan 2008
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On an annual comparison basis, OFHEO reported that prices fell 3.0 percent, and said that thus far, peak-to-trough pricing activity represents a 4.1 percent decline in housing prices. Prices have posted consistent negative monthly appreciation since May of last year, according to OFHEO data. The OFHEO HPI tracks prices nationwide and by each of the nine major Census divisions. Both the New England and Pacific regions fared the worst during January, posting a 2.9 and 2.4 percent monthly price decline, respectively; the Mountain region, in contrast, squeezed out a 0.1 percent gain. There are plenty of distinctions between how the OFHEO and Case-Shiller numbers are calculated. For one, the Case-Shiller numbers track within 20 MSAs, while OFHEO's numbers offer broader geographic coverage; OFHEO's numbers only look at conforming mortgages and don't consider the jumbo loan market, whereas the Case-Shiller numbers cover a broader set of transactions within its set of 20 MSAs; and Case-Shiller doesn't use appraisal data. The Calculated Risk blog speculates on research conducted by OFHEO economist Andrew Levitin, suggesting that The Case-Shiller indices will continue to post steeper price declines than the OFHEO index due to the nature of where most of the price losses are concentrated (just outside of the conforming market).