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


Washington, D.C. – U.S. house prices rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter of 2018 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).  House prices rose 6.3 percent from the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018.  FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.2 percent from August.

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

“Home prices continued to rise in the third quarter but their upward pace is slowing somewhat," said Dr. William Doerner, Supervisory Economist.  “Rising mortgage rates have cooled down housing markets—several regions and over two-thirds of states are showing slower annual gains."

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

Significant Findings

  • Home prices rose in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between the third quarter of 2017 and the third quarter of 2018.  The top five areas in annual appreciation were: 1) Idaho 15.1 percent; 2) Nevada 15.0 percent; 3) Washington 10.6 percent; 4) Utah 10.0 percent; and 5) Colorado 9.2 percent.  The areas showing the smallest annual appreciation were:  1) Alaska 0.2 percent; 2) North Dakota 1.0 percent; 3) Louisiana 1.5 percent; 4) District of Columbia 1.6 percent; and 5) Connecticut 2.2 percent.
  • Home prices rose in 99 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 20.1 percent.  Prices were weakest in Honolulu (“Urban Honolulu"), HI, where they fell by 5.2 percent.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest four-quarter appreciation, posting an 8.9 percent gain between the third quarters of 2017 and 2018 and a 1.5 percent increase in the third quarter of 2018.  Annual house price appreciation was similarly weak in the New England, Middle Atlantic, and West South Central divisions, where prices rose less than 5.0 percent between the third quarters of 2017 and 2018. 

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 house price indexes beyond the basic “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. 


FHFA's HPI tracks changes in home values for individual properties owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac over the past 43 years using more than eight 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.


  • The next monthly HPI report (including data through October 2018) will be released December 27, 2018 and the next quarterly HPI report (including data for the fourth quarter of 2018) will be released February 26, 2019.
  • Future HPI release dates for 2019 are available at https://www.fhfa.gov/hpi.
  • Follow @FHFA on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for more HPI news.


The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $6.2 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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