Home prices up
Although only by 0.2 percent, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI) shows minor improvement for the quarter. Home prices fell 3.7 percent from the third quarter of 2010, but the slide in prices looks to potentially be slowing. The HPI is calculated by using home sales price information from mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which are under the conservatorship of the FHFA.
“In most regions of the country, third-quarter home values were relatively stable, even in some areas that experienced sharp price declines in preceding quarters,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “While most housing markets still face stiff headwinds, the fact that some beleaguered states—such as Idaho, Florida and Utah—saw quarterly price increases is a positive development.”
Regional performance varied
When the FHFA added refinancings into the mix, the house price index actually increase 0.9 percent in this quarter, but dropped 4.3 percent from the third quarter of 2010 which is a mixture of good news and less good news.
According to the FHFA, of the nine census divisions, the strongest price gains for the quarter were in the West North Central division, rising 1.5 percent in pricing while the Pacific division was the weakest, dropping 0.5 percent. The largest declines on a metropolitan level were seen in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area with a drop of 10.6 percent over the year while the strongest area was Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI which rose 4.0 percent from the third quarter of 2010.
Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa and North Dakota were the best performing states with price increases experienced in all four states, while the states that lost the most value were Georgia, Washington, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona strictly based on mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this quarter.