House Prices Inch Higher but Show Signs of Deceleration

U.S. house prices rose 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 5.6 percent from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for June was up 0.2 percent from May. The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“Although the appreciation rate for the second quarter was of similar magnitude to what we’ve been seeing for several years now, a close look at the month-over-month price changes during the quarter reveals a potentially significant market shift,” says FHFA Supervisory Economist Andrew Leventis. “Our monthly price index indicates that in each of the three months of the quarter, the increase was only 0.2 percent. This is a much more modest pace of appreciation than we’ve seen in some time and most likely reflects accumulated pressures from significantly reduced home affordability.”
While the HPI rose 5.6 percent from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016, prices of other goods and services were nearly unchanged. The inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 5.7 percent over the last year.
Home prices rose in every state except Vermont between the second quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016. The top five states in annual appreciation were: 1) Oregon 11.7 percent; 2) Washington 10.3 percent; 3) Colorado 10.2 percent; 4) Florida 10.0 percent; and 5) Nevada 9.6 percent.
Among the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., annual price increases were greatest in North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla., where prices increased by 15.7 percent. Prices were weakest in Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., where they fell 3.3 percent.
Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest increase in the second quarter, posting a 1.9 percent quarterly increase and an 8.1 percent increase since the second quarter of last year. House price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 0.6 percent from the last quarter.

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