Home Prices Rise in January: FHFA

March 24, 2009 No Comments »

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That’s right, home prices rose in January, it’s not a typo.

U.S. home prices climbed 1.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from December to January, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index.

However, for the 12 months ending in January, home prices fell 6.3 percent, and the home price index is 9.6 percent below its April 2007 peak.

Before you get too excited, the FHFA noted that the month-to-month increase could be attributed to a disproportionate number of sales in the strongest markets, and sales volume was relatively low.

“While it is difficult to perfectly control for changing geographic mix in estimating house price indexes, the data suggest that if one were to remove those effects, the change in home prices in January, while still positive, would have been far less dramatic,” the FHFA said in a release.

“It also should be noted that sales volumes, in absolute terms, were relatively low in the month. Accordingly, the estimation imprecision associated with the January estimate is relatively large and subsequent revisions to the monthly figure could be significant.”

The East North Central region fared the best, experiencing a 3.9 percent rise in home prices, while the Pacific region dropped 0.9 percent, making it the worst performer. Remember, it’s all regional…

The FHFA’s monthly home price index is calculated using purchase prices of homes backed by mortgages that have been sold or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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