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Washington, D.C. – 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.
Tables and graphs showing home price statistics for metropolitan areas, states, census divisions, and the U.S. as a whole are included on the following pages.
Other Price Indexes
Most statistics in the quarterly house price index report 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 Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-purchased and Enterprise-guaranteed mortgages originated over the past 41 years. More than seven million repeat sales transactions are used in the estimation of the purchase-only HPI.
Media: Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030 / Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032 Consumers: Consumer Communications or (202) 649-3811
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