U.S. house prices rose 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the fifteenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.3 percent from February. The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
"The first quarter saw strong and widespread home price growth throughout most of the country," said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. "Home prices are now, on average, roughly 20 percent above where they were three years ago. This run-up has been historically exceptional and is particularly notable in light of the limited household income growth and modest rate of overall inflation observed during that same time period."
The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose 5.0 percent from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015 while prices of other goods and services fell 1.5 percent. The inflation-adjusted price of homes thus rose approximately 6.5 percent over the latest year.
Other Significant Findings
- Between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, home prices rose in 48 states. The top five states in annual appreciation: 1) Colorado – 11.2 percent 2) Nevada – 10.1 percent 3) Florida – 8.7 percent 4) Washington – 7.6 percent 5) California – 7.5 percent.
- Among the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., four-quarter price increases were greatest in Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley, CA (MSAD), where prices increased by 13.4 percent. Prices were weakest in the Greensboro-High Point, NC, where they fell 2.3 percent.
- Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest increase in the first quarter, posting a 2.6 percent quarterly increase and a 6.8 percent increase since last year. House price appreciation was weakest in the West North Central division, where prices rose 0.7 percent.