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U.S. House Prices Rise 1.3 Percent in First Quarter

FHFA House Price Index Shows Increases for Fifteenth Consecutive Quarter

Washington, D.C. – U.S. house prices rose 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).  This is the fifteenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.  FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.3 percent from February.  The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

"The first quarter saw strong and widespread home price growth throughout most of the country," said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis.  "Home prices are now, on average, roughly 20 percent above where they were three years ago.  This run-up has been historically exceptional and is particularly notable in light of the limited household income growth and modest rate of overall inflation observed during that same time period."

The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose 5.0 percent from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015 while prices of other goods and services fell 1.5 percent.  The inflation-adjusted price of homes thus rose approximately 6.5 percent over the latest year.

Other Significant Findings

  • Between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, home prices rose in 48 states.  The top five states in annual appreciation: 1) Colorado – 11.2 percent 2) Nevada – 10.1 percent 3) Florida – 8.7 percent 4) Washington – 7.6 percent 5) California – 7.5 percent.
  • Among the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., four-quarter price increases were greatest in Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA  (MSAD), where prices increased by 13.4 percent.  Prices were weakest in the Greensboro-High Point, NC, where they fell 2.3 percent.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest increase in the first quarter, posting a 2.6 percent quarterly increase and a 6.8 percent increase since last year.  House price appreciation was weakest in the West North Central division, where prices rose 0.7 percent. 

The attached packet provides tables and graphs showing home price statistics for metropolitan areas, states, census divisions, and the U.S. as a whole.

Other Price Indexes

Most statistics in the attached release reference price changes computed with FHFA's basic "purchase-only" HPI.  In some cases, however, the reported statistics reference alternative price measures.  FHFA publishes--and makes available for download--three additional varieties of home price index beyond the basic "purchase-only" series.  Although they all use the same basic methodology, the three alternatives rely on slightly different datasets in index estimation. 

The alternative measures include:

  • "Distress-Free" house price indexes.  Sales of bank-owned properties and short sales are removed from purchase-only dataset prior to estimation of the indexes.
  • "Expanded-Data" house price indexes.  Sales price information sourced from county recorder offices and from FHA-endorsed mortgages are added to the purchase-only data sample.     
  • "All-Transactions" house price indexes.  Appraisal values from refinance mortgages are added to the purchase-only data sample.

For some geographic areas, multiple index types are available.  For instance, for individual states, three types of indexes are available.  The various series tend to correlate closely over the long-term, but short-term differences can be significant. 


FHFA's HPI tracks changes in average home prices by analyzing changes in home values for the individual properties.  The underlying "repeat-transactions" methodology constructs index estimates by statistically evaluating price appreciation (or depreciation) for homes with multiple values over time.  The purchase-only HPI uses sales price information from mortgages purchased and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the past 40 years.  More than seven million repeat sales transactions are used in the estimation of the purchase-only HPI.


  • The next monthly index (including data through April 2015) will be released June 23, 2015.
  • The next quarterly HPI report, which will include data for the second quarter of 2015, will be released August 25, 2015. 
  • Future HPI release dates for 2015 are available on the House Price Index page.
  • Follow @FHFA on Twitter for more HPI news.​ 



The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.6 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions. Additional information is available at www.FHFA.gov, on Twitter @FHFA, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Media:  Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032 / Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030
Consumers: Consumer Communications or (202) 649-3811​
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