Prices of lower-end U.S. Homes reversed course and fell 0.3%, seasonally adjusted, from July to August, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency¹s monthly House Price Index. The previously reported 0.3% increase in July was unrevised.

The index began rising last November, and moved sharply higher into January.After falling in February and March, it began a three month rise until July.

For the 12 months ending in August, the HPI was down 3.6%, putting the cumulative loss since the HPI's April, 2007 peak at 10.7% and putting the market back at February, 2005 levels. The index is based on purchase prices of houses backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which excludes much of the move-up and most of the higher end of the housing market.

Regionally, by Census Division, the HPI was up 1.2% in the West, up 0.8% in the Mountain, up 0.2% in the West North Central, flat in the West South Central, down 0.6% in the East North Central, up 0.4% in the East South Central, down 1.1% in New England, down 0.6% in the Middle Atlantic and down 1.6% in the South Atlantic.

August to August, prices in the West were down 6.5% in the West, down 7.8% in the Mountain, down 1% in the West North Central, up 0.4% in the West South Central, down 3.4% in the East North Central, down 0.7% in the East South Central, down 3.4% in New England, down 2.8% in the Middle Atlantic and down 5.5% in the South Atlantic.

The indices by Census Division stood at 190.1 for the West, 241.1 for the Mountain, 209.0 for the West North Central, 198.3 for the West South Central, 178.2 for the East North Central, 195.8 for the East South Central,209.4 for New England, 210.4 for the Middle Atlantic and 203.1 for the South Atlantic. A base index of 100 was established in January, 1991.