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News Release

U.S. House Prices Rise 1.7 Percent in First Quarter

Monthly Index Shows 0.1 Percent Increase in March

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/24/2018

Washington, D.C. – U.S. house prices rose 1.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).  House prices rose 6.9 percent from the first quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018.  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.  

"Home prices continue to rise across the U.S. but there are signs of tapering," said Dr. William Doerner, Senior Economist.  "Since housing markets began to rebound in 2012, house price appreciation has been positive because demand has outpaced supply.  In the last month, however, some regions reflect a slowing or even flattening of house price growth."

See video for the first quarter featuring Dr. Doerner. 

Significant Findings

  • Home prices rose in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.  The top five areas in annual appreciation were:  1) Nevada 13.7 percent; 2) Washington 13.1 percent; 3) Idaho 11.1 percent; 4) Colorado 10.6 percent; and 5) Utah 9.9 percent.
  • Home prices rose in each of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. over the last four quarters.  Annual price increases were greatest in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV, where prices increased by 17.1 percent.  Prices were weakest in Tulsa, OK, where they rose 0.8 percent.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest four-quarter appreciation, posting a 9.5 percent gain between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018 and a 2.6 percent increase in the first quarter of 2018.  Annual house price appreciation was weakest in the East South Central division, where prices rose 5.3 percent between the first quarters of 2017 and 2018. 

Tables and graphs showing house 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, the three aforementioned 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 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.

Note

  • The next monthly HPI report (including data through April 2018) will be released June 21, 2018 and the next quarterly HPI report (including data for the second quarter of 2018 and monthly data for June) will be released August 23, 2018.
  • Future HPI release dates for 2018 are available here
  • Follow @FHFA on Twitter, LinkedIn 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 $6.1 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: Stefanie Johnson (202) 649-3030 / Corinne Russell (202) 649-3032
Consumers: Consumer Communications or (202) 649-3811

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