Home prices took a step backward in August, erasing the progress made in July, according to data released Thursday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
In August, home prices dropped 0.3%, which is exactly the same amount that they gained in July, based on the FHFA numbers. On a yearly basis, August’s home values were 3.6% below the same month in 2008.
The FHFA home price index is based on the purchase prices of homes with loans owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in all 50 states. This typically results in less dramatic home price changes than the competing S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, which focuses on all homes sold (including those with jumbo loans) in 20 major housing markets around the country.
Regionally, four of nine U.S. Census regions posted small monthly increases, four reported declines, and one (West South Central, which includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana) had no change (0%) in August.
Among the gainers, the greatest monthly uptick came from the Pacific (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California), where prices moved up 1.2%. The largest decline happened in the Middle Atlantic (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania); home values there dropped 1.6% in August.
Alison Rice is senior editor, online, at BUILDER magazine.