NEW U.S. MONTHLY HOUSE PRICE INDEX ESTIMATES 0.6 PERCENT PRICE
INCREASE BETWEEN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY
WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. home prices rose approximately 0.6 percent on a seasonallyadjusted
basis between January and February, according to OFHEO's new monthly House
Price Index. For the 12 months ending in February, U.S. prices fell 2.4 percent. Since its
peak in April 2007, the index is down 3.1 percent.
The OFHEO monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing
mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The
index, introduced in OFHEO's fourth quarter 2007 House Price Index (HPI) report,
provides a timely indicator of house price conditions for the nation and each of the nine
Census Divisions. For the nine Census Divisions, seasonally-adjusted monthly price
changes from January to February ranged from -0.6 percent in the Mountain Census
Division to 2.2 percent in the New England Division.
Changes in the national index, which is constructed as a weighted average of data from
the nine Census Divisions, reflect movements in market prices as well as changes in the
mix of geographic areas within Census Divisions. Normally changes in the mix are
relatively small. However, in February, the share of reported sales volumes rose in states
with stronger housing markets, which significantly increased estimated appreciation above
what it would have been in the absence of such effects. Holding the weights for each state
constant, the national increase would have been only 0.3 percent in February.
Monthly index values and appreciation rate estimates are provided in the table and graph
on the following pages. All estimates are seasonally adjusted and, as with OFHEO's
quarterly HPI, will be revised in later releases. As indicated in OFHEO's fourth quarter
2007 HPI report, quarterly HPI releases will include updated monthly data presented in the
same format as the attached table.
For detailed information concerning the new monthly HPI, please see the HPI Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQs), at http://www.ofheo.gov/hpi.aspx?Nav=60. The next release of
monthly index data will be included as part of OFHEO's next quarterly HPI, released May
22, 2008. That release will include quarterly index data through the first quarter of 2008
and will report monthly estimates through March.