U.S. home prices are continuing to rise, according to separate
reports from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Standard
& Poor's/Case Shiller released today.
Both the FHFA's and the S&P/Case Shiller home price indices
showed home prices in September increasing on an annual, quarterly
and monthly basis. For the S&P indices, it was the sixth
consecutive monthly gain.
The FHFA index, based on date from
mortgages for home purchases, showed that prices rose a full 4.0
percent from the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter this
year. The S&P/Case Shiller indices, which are based on sales of
single-family homes, showed a 3.6 percent annual gain for the same
Suggests recovery underway
On a quarterly basis, the seasonally adjusted FHFA index showed
a 1.1 percent increase from the second quarter of the year, and a
0.2 percent rise from August to September, the last month of the
quarter. The S&P/Case-Shiller indices, which are not seasonally
adjusted, showed a 2.2 percent quarterly gain and a 0.3 percent
monthly increase from August to September.
The consistency between the two reports, based on different
methods of gathering data, provides further evidence that a modest
housing recovery is underway.
"With significant growth in home prices during the quarter and a
modest inventory of homes available for sale, house price movements
in the third quarter were similar to what we observed in the
spring," said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. "The past
year has seen consistent price increases, but a number of factors
continue to affect the recovery in home prices such as stagnant
income growth, high unemployment levels, lingering uncertainty
about the macroeconomy, and the large number of homes in the
Price gains uneven across nation
Although home prices are up nationally, the impact across the
nation has been uneven. According to the FHFA report, home prices
showed their strongest gains this past year in the Mountain and
Pacific census divisions of the country, with annual increases of
10.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. The weakest housing
markets have been in the New England and Middle Atlantic regions,
the former showing a 0.5 percent annual decline and the latter a
0.9 percent increase.
According to the S&P/Case Shiller index of 20 major
metropolitan areas, Phoenix had the greatest price increases by
far, with a 20.4 percent annual gain. No other metropolitan area
reached double digit annual increases. Phoenix suffered some of the
biggest price declines of all major metropolitan areas during the
Only two of the 20 cities in the S&P/Case Shiller survey
showed annual declines, with prices in New York City down 2.3
percent and Chicago home prices down 1.5 percent.
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