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News Release

U.S. House Prices Rise 1.1 Percent in First Quarter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/28/2019

Washington, D.C. – U.S. house prices rose 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).  House prices rose 5.1 percent from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.  FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.1 percent from February.

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  

“House prices have risen consistently over the last 31 quarters," said Dr. William Doerner, Supervisory Economist. “Although price growth is still positive, the upward pace is softening across the country, especially among states with the largest supplies of housing."

See video of highlights for the first quarter featuring Dr. Doerner.

Significant Findings

  • Home prices rose in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019.  The top five areas in annual appreciation were: 1) Idaho 13.4 percent; 2) Nevada 10.6 percent; 3) Utah 8.9 percent; 4) Tennessee 7.7 percent; and 5) Georgia 7.5 percent.  The areas showing the smallest annual appreciation were:  1) Maryland 0.5 percent; 2) Delaware 0.7 percent; 3) Louisiana 1.0 percent; 4) Alaska 2.1 percent; and 5) Wyoming 2.1 percent.
  • Home prices rose in 95 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. over the last four quarters.  Annual price increases were greatest in Boise City, ID, where prices increased by 16.0 percent.  Prices were weakest in Urban Honolulu, HI, where they fell by 4.5 percent.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest four-quarter appreciation, posting a 7.2 percent gain between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019 and a 1.7 percent increase in the first quarter of 2019.  Annual house price appreciation was weakest in the Pacific division, where prices rose by 3.7 percent between the first quarters of 2018 and 2019. 

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 HPI report reference price changes computed by FHFA's “purchase-only" HPI.  In some cases, however, the reported statistics reference alternative price measures.  FHFA publishes—and makes available for download—three additional HPIs beyond the “purchase-only" series.  Although they use the same general methodology, the three alternatives rely on slightly different datasets as follows: 

  • “Distress-Free" house price index.  Sales of bank-owned properties and short sales are removed from the purchase-only dataset prior to estimation of the index.
  • “Expanded-Data" house price index.  Sales price information sourced from county recorder offices and from FHA-backed mortgages are added to the purchase-only data sample.  This index is used annually to adjust the maximum conforming loan limits, which dictate the dollar amount of loans that can be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • “All-Transactions" house price index.  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 home values for individual properties owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac over the past 44 years using more than nine million repeat transactions.  The “repeat-transactions" methodology constructs index estimates by statistically evaluating price appreciation (or depreciation) for homes with multiple values over time.  See this video explaining the basic methodology behind the FHFA HPI.

Note

  • The next monthly HPI report (including data through April 2019) will be released June 25, 2019 and the next quarterly HPI report (including data for the second quarter of 2019 and monthly data for June) will be released August 27, 2019.
  • Future HPI release dates for 2019 are available at https://www.fhfa.gov/hpi.
  • Follow @FHFA on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube 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 more than $6.3 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions. Additional information is available at www.FHFA.gov, on Twitter, @FHFA, YouTube, Facebook, 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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