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Home Prices Continue to Rise

Posted: 1/23/2013 2:15:00 PM
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U.S. home prices continue to rise, increasing a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in November, according to today's figures from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

It's been nearly two years since monthly home prices have seen a decline, a stretch dating back to January 2011. Home prices for the 12-monthly period ending in November were up at an annual rate of 5.6 percent, while October's monthly price increase was adjusted to 0.6 percent, up from 0.5 percent originally reported.

Figures are based on the purchase prices of homes with mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac , which operate under FHFA supervision.

Overall, U.S. home values remain 15.2 percent below their April 2007 peak and as of November were at roughly the same level as in August 2004.

Western states dominate gains

The West continues to be the nation's hottest region for housing prices by far, while Eastern states tend to lag behind. Of the nine U.S. Census Divisions, the Mountain and Pacific states are showing the most rapid price gains, both on a monthly an annual basis.

States in the Mountain Division showed the greatest price gains, with a 2.1 percent increase in November and 14.8 percent annual gain over the previous 12 months. The Pacific region saw gains of 1.7 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively.

The Middle Atlantic states are the nation's softest housing market, with home values showing only a 0.5 percent gain over the previous 12 months, followed by New England with a 0.9 percent increase. Those regions showed monthly increases in November of 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

Rust Belt, Old South see monthly declines

Two regions saw price declines in November, with the East North Central and East South Central down 1.0 percent and 0.4 percent for the month. On an annual basis, those regions saw price gains of 2.3 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

The South Atlantic states were the exception to the generally slow price increases east of the Mississippi River, with an annual gain of 7.0 percent, third highest in the nation, and monthly increase of 0.9 percent.

The remaining two districts, West South Central and West North Central, saw annual increases of 5.4 percent and 3.8 percent, and November gains of 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

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