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Washington, D.C. – U.S. house prices rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter of 2015 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the 17th consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.8 percent from August. House prices rose 5.7 percent from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015.
The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. New this quarter, video highlights of the HPI are available online.
“The long-anticipated slowdown in home price appreciation did not occur in the third quarter,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “The factors that have contributed to extraordinary price growth over the last few years—low interest rates, tight inventories, strong buyer confidence, and improving income growth—continued to drive prices upward in much of the country. However, as prices continue to rise, reduced affordability will be a stronger market headwind,” Leventis said.
While the purchase-only HPI rose 5.7 percent from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015, prices of other goods and services fell 1.3 percent. The inflation-adjusted price of homes thus rose approximately 7.1 percent over the latest year.
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 by 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 home price indexes beyond the basic “purchase-only” series. Although they all use the same general methodology, the three alternatives rely on slightly different datasets in index estimation.
The alternative measures include:
Data constraints preclude the production of all types of indexes for every geographic area, but multiple index types are generally available. For individual states, for instance, three types of indexes are available. The various indexes 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 Enterprise-purchased and Enterprise-guaranteed mortgages originated over the past 40 years. More than seven million repeat sales transactions are used in the estimation of the purchase-only HPI.
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