House Prices Rise in Second Quarter

Housing price index rose 0.9% from first quarter of 2010.

September 1, 2010

U.S. house prices rose in the second quarter of 2010 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI).

The HPI, calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-acquired mortgages, was 0.9% higher on a seasonally adjusted basis in the second quarter than in the first quarter of 2010. The unadjusted national increase was 2.6%. Over the past year, seasonally adjusted prices fell 1.6% from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010.

FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for June was down 0.3% from its May value, offsetting some of the price increases in the prior months. The monthly increase for the April-to-May period was revised downward to 0.4%, from an initial estimate of 0.5%.

While the national, purchase-only house price index fell 1.6% from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010, prices of other goods and services rose 3% over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes fell approximately 4.4% over the latest year.

FHFA’s all-transactions house price index, which includes data from mortgages used for both home purchases and refinancings, fell over the latest quarter. The index declined 0.5% in the latest quarter and 4.9% over the four-quarter period.

Significant findings

Of the nine Census Divisions, the East North Central and New England Divisions experienced the most significant price movements in the latest quarter according to the seasonally adjusted, purchase-only index. While prices rose 1.6% in the East North Central Division, prices fell 0.7% in the New England Division.

Seasonally adjusted, purchase-only indexes indicate that prices rose in the latest quarter in 27 states. Prices rose over the latest four quarters in 10 states and Washington, D.C.

As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 25 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., four-quarter price declines were greatest in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz., area. That area saw price declines of 5.5% between the second quarters of 2009 and 2010.

Prices held up best in the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif., area, where prices rose 9.9% over that period.