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House Price Index

U.S. House Price Index Report - 4Q 2015 / December

Published: 2/25/2016

U.S. house prices rose 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).  This is the eighteenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.  House prices rose 5.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015.  FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for December was up 0.4 percent from November. 

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  FHFA has produced a video of highlights for this quarter.   

"Instability in financial markets did not seem to put much of a drag on home prices in the fourth quarter," said FHFA Supervisory Economist Andrew Leventis.   "The fourth quarter 1.4 percent increase for the U.S. was in line with the extremely steady—but historically elevated—appreciation rates we have been observing for several years now," Leventis said. 

While the purchase-only HPI rose 5.8 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2015, prices of other goods and services fell 0.8 percent.  The inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 6.7 percent over the latest year.

Significant Findings

  • Home prices rose in every state and in the District of Columbia between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2015.  The top five states in annual appreciation were:  1) Nevada 12.7 percent; 2) Colorado 10.9 percent; 3) Idaho 10.7 percent; 4) Washington 10.7 percent; and 5) Oregon 10.6 percent.
  • Among the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., four-quarter price increases were greatest in the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Statistical Areas District (MSAD), where prices increased by 20.7 percent.  Prices were weakest in New Haven-Milford, Connecticut, where they fell 1.5 percent.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the fourth quarter, posting a 2.1 percent quarterly increase and an 8.0 percent increase since the fourth quarter of last year.  House price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 0.6 percent from the last quarter. 

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