Washington, D.C. – U.S. house prices rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 6.0 percent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.6 percent from February.
The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHFA has produced a video of highlights for this quarter.
“The steep, multi-year rise in U.S. home prices continued in the first quarter,” said FHFA Deputy Chief Economist Andrew Leventis. “Mortgage rates during the quarter remained slightly elevated relative to most of last year, but demand for homes remained very strong. With housing inventories still languishing at extremely low levels, the strong demand led to another exceptionally large quarterly price increase.”
- Home prices rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. The top five areas in annual appreciation were: 1) District of Columbia 13.9 percent; 2) Colorado 10.7 percent; 3) Idaho 10.3 percent; 4) Washington 10.2 percent; and 5) New Hampshire 9.5 percent.
- Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., annual price increases were greatest in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI, where prices increased by 13.7 percent. Prices were weakest in San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA (MSAD), where they fell 2.5 percent.
- Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the first quarter, posting a 2.0 percent quarterly increase and a 7.7 percent increase since the first quarter of last year. House price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 1.0 percent from the last quarter.
Tables and graphs showing home price statistics for metropolitan areas, states, census divisions, and the U.S. as a whole are included on the following pages.
Other Price Indexes
Most statistics in the quarterly house price index report reference price changes computed by FHFA’s basic “purchase-only” HPI. In some cases, however, the reported statistics reference alternative price measures. FHFA publishes – and makes available for download – three additional house price indexes beyond the basic “purchase-only” series. Although they use the same general methodology, the three alternatives rely on slightly different datasets as follows:
- “Distress-Free” house price index. Sales of bank-owned properties and short sales are removed from the purchase-only dataset prior to estimation of the index.
- “Expanded-Data” house price index. Sales price information sourced from county recorder offices and from FHA-backed mortgages are added to the purchase-only data sample. This index is used annually to adjust the maximum conforming loan limits, which dictate the dollar amount of loans that can be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- “All-Transactions” house price index. Appraisal values from refinance mortgages are added to the purchase-only data sample.
Data constraints preclude the production of all types of indexes for every geographic area, but multiple index types are generally available. For individual states, for instance, three types of indexes are available. The various indexes tend to correlate closely over the long-term, but short-term differences can be significant.
FHFA’s HPI tracks changes in average home prices by analyzing changes in home values for the individual properties. The underlying “repeat-transactions” methodology constructs index estimates by statistically evaluating price appreciation (or depreciation) for homes with multiple values over time. The purchase-only HPI uses sales price information from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-purchased and Enterprise-guaranteed mortgages originated over the past 42 years. The purchase-only HPI is estimated with more than eight million repeat transactions. A video shows the basic methodology behind the FHFA HPI.
- The next monthly HPI report (including data through January 2017) will be released June 22, 2017 and the next quarterly HPI report (including data for the second quarter of 2017) will be released August 22, 2017.
- HPI release dates for 2017 are available at https://www.fhfa.gov/hpi.
- Follow @FHFA on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for more HPI news.