FHFA: House Price Index Down 0.3 in May; Up 4.9 Percent from Last Year

U.S. house prices fell in May, down 0.3 percent from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).  House prices rose 4.9 percent from May 2019 to May 2020. The previously reported 0.2 percentincrease for April 2020 was revised downward to 0.1 percent.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from April 2020 to May 2020 ranged from -1.0 percent in the New England division to +0.1 percent in the South Atlantic division.  The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +3.7 percent in the New England division to +6.3 percent in the Mountain division.

“U.S. house prices posted a small decrease in May compared to April but remained 4.9 percent higher than a year ago,” according to Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “The May HPI results are based on contracts for sale signed in late March and throughout April, which was a period when many states announced stay-at-home orders.  The number of transactions powering the FHFA HPI in May was down by just over 30 percent compared to a year ago, reflecting the early effects of COVID-19 shutdowns.  Based on the rebound in mortgage applications for home purchases and pending home sales in May, we expect the number of transactions increased somewhat in June.”

FHFA produces the nation’s only public, freely available house price indexes (HPIs) that measure changes in single-family house prices based on data that cover all 50 states and over 400 American cities and extend back to the mid-1970s.  The HPIs are built on tens of millions of home sales and offer insights about house price fluctuations at the national, census division, state, metro area, county, ZIP code, and census tract levels.  The FHFA HPIs use a fully transparent methodology based upon a weighted, repeat-sales statistical technique to analyze transaction data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  FHFA releases data and reports on a quarterly and monthly basis.  The flagship FHFA HPI uses seasonally adjusted, purchase-only data, unless otherwise noted.  Additional indexes are based on other data including refinances, FHA mortgages, and real property records.  All the indexes can be downloaded from the FHFA website.

Monthly index values and appreciation rate estimates for recent periods are provided in the tables and graphs on the following pages.  Downloadable data and HPI release dates for all of 2020 are available here:  https://www.fhfa.gov/HPI​. 

The next HPI report will be released August 25, 2020 with data for the second quarter of 2020 and monthly data through June 2020. 

 ​Attachments: DownloadHouse Price Index Report May 2020

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