Home prices gained a wee bit of ground this fall, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which reported Tuesday that housing values increased 0.6% on a monthly basis in October.
On an annual basis, October’s prices were 1.9% below the same month one year ago.
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, six of nine Census regions reported rising home values, with the greatest jump coming from the Pacific, which reported a 3.7% monthly gain. This region, which was down just 0.3% on an annual basis in October, includes Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California.
The next two top-performing regions were the Middle Atlantic (up 1.8% for the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) and East South Central (up 1.6% in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama).
Three regions (West North Central, West South Central, and East North Central) remained essentially flat, with monthly gains of less than 1%. New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) was flat, with a price change of 0%.
Finally, two Census regions posted declines in October. Home values in East North Central (Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) slipped 0.6%. So did the South Atlantic, where prices dipped 1.1% in the states of Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Alison Rice is senior editor, online, at BUILDER magazine.