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News Release

U.S. House Prices Rise 1.3 Percent in Third Quarter; 17th Consecutive Quarterly Increase

New: House Price Index Video

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11/25/2015

​​​​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. 

Significant Findings

  • Home prices rose in every state (except for West Virginia) and in the District of Columbia between the third quarter of 2014 and the third quarter of 2015. The top five areas in annual appreciation: 1) District of Columbia – 15.4 percent, 2) Colorado – 12.7 percent, 3) Nevada – 12.4 percent, 4) Oregon – 10.0 percent, and 5) Florida – 10.0 percent.
  • Among the 100 most-populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., four-quarter price increases were greatest in North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL, where prices increased by 16.1 percent. Prices were weakest in El Paso, TX, where they fell 3.6 percent.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest increase in the third quarter, posting a 2.4 percent quarterly increase and a 9.0 percent increase since the third quarter of last year. House price appreciation was weakest in the New England division, where prices rose 0.2 percent from the last quarter.

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:

  • “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. This index is used annually to adjust the maximum conforming loan limits, which constrain the size of loans that can be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • “All-Transactions” house price indexes. Appraisal values from refinance mortgages are added to the purchase-only data sample.

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.

Background

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.

Note:

  • The next monthly index (including data through October 2015) will be released December 22, 2015.
  • The next quarterly HPI report, which will include data for the fourth quarter of 2015, will be released February 25, 2016.
  • Future HPI release dates for 2015 and 2016 are available on the House Price Index​ page.
  • Follow @FHFA on Twitter for more HPI news.
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The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide nearly $5.7 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.
Contacts:
Media: Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032 / Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030

Consumers: Consumer Communications or (202) 649-3811

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