Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

The Latest on FHFA Data

In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s second update discusses FHFA data on home prices.

  • FHFA data today confirmed that home price increases continued in August rising by 8.5 percent from August 2012.  Earlier NAR data showed a gain of 13.4 percent in the same period and showed continued but slowing gains of 11.7 percent in the year ending September 2013.
  • While this increase was the 19th consecutive month of year over year increases in home prices reported by the FHFA, the increase remains 9.4 percent below the peak it reached in April 2007.
  • NAR reports the median price of all homes that have sold while FHFA reports the results of a weighted repeat-sales index.  Because home sales among higher priced properties have been growing more than among lower price tiers, the NAR median price has risen by more than the weighted repeat sales index—which computes price change based on repeat sales of the same property.
  • FHFA sources data primarily from Fannie and Freddie mortgages, transactions using prime conventional financing, and misses out on cash transactions as well as jumbo, subprime, and government backed transactions such as those using VA or FHA financing.
  • FHFA releases data at the Census division level and it confirms the trend seen in NAR measures.  The most robust gains from a year ago were in the West.  Year over year prices rose 18.2 percent in the Pacific division which includes Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California and 13.8 percent in the Mountain division which includes Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.  NAR data showed the smallest price gains from a year ago in the Northeast, and FHFA showed a similar pattern.  Prices rose 4.2 percent in New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut) and 4.0 percent in the Middle Atlantic states (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) from one year ago.

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