House Prices Fall 0.6% in Second Quarter

June house price index is 18.8% below its April 2007 peak.

August 25, 2011

U.S. house prices fell 0.6% during the second quarter of 2011 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI).

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Over the past four quarters, seasonally adjusted prices have fallen 5.9%.

The quarterly decrease came despite an increase in FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly house price index for June of 0.9%. The June HPI was 18.8% below its April 2007 peak.

FHFA’s all-transactions house price index, which includes data from mortgages used for both home purchases and refinancings, decreased 1.9% in the latest quarter and is down 4.5% over the four-quarter period.

While the national, purchase-only house price index fell 5.9% from the second quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2011, prices of other goods and services rose 4.5% over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes fell approximately 10% over the last year.

Other findings:

• The seasonally adjusted purchase-only HPI declined from the first quarter to the
second quarter in 31 states.

• The New England and West South Central regions experienced the strongest price gains in the latest quarter, with both posting 0.7% price increases. Prices were weakest in the Mountain region, where prices fell 2.3%.

• Among the 25 most populated metropolitan areas, four-quarter price declines were greatest in the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta, Ga., area, which experienced price declines of 14.1% over the last four quarters.

• Prices held up best in Pittsburgh, Pa., increasing 3.7% over the last four quarters.