U.S. Home Prices Fall 1.6% in the Q-3, Says FHFA

U.S. Home Prices Fall 1.6% in the Q-3, Says FHFA

Residential News » Residential Real Estate Edition | By Michael Gerrity | November 29, 2010 9:39 AM ET

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI), U.S. home prices fell in the third quarter of 2010. The HPI, calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-acquired mortgages, was 1.6 percent lower on both a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis in the third quarter than in the second quarter of 2010.

Over the past year, seasonally adjusted prices fell 3.2 percent from the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2010. The quarterly report analyzing housing price appreciation trends was released this past week by FHFA.

FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was down 0.7 percent from its August value. The monthly increase for the July-to-August period was revised from an initial estimate of +0.4 percent to 0.0 percent (flat prices).

While the national, purchase-only house price index fell 3.2 percent from the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2010, prices of other goods and services rose 2.0 percent over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes fell approximately 5.1 percent over the latest year.

FHFA's all-transactions house price index, which includes data from mortgages used for both home purchases and refinancings, rose over the latest quarter. The index increased 1.1 percent in the latest quarter, although it is down 1.2 percent over the four-quarter period.

Significant Findings:

  • Of the nine Census Divisions, the New England Division and the Mountain Division experienced the most significant price movements in the latest quarter. While prices rose 0.9 percent in New England, prices fell 4.0 percent in the Mountain Division.
  • Seasonally adjusted, purchase-only indexes indicate that prices rose in the latest quarter in 13 states and the District of Columbia. 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 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA area. That area saw price declines of 10.1 percent between the third quarters of 2009 and 2010. Prices held up best in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA area, where prices rose 4.6 percent over that period.

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