For 19 Straight Quarters Average House Prices Have Inched Higher

U.S. house prices rose 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the nineteenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.

House prices rose 5.7 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. This is the fourth consecutive year in which prices grew more than 5 percent. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.7 percent from February.

“While the overall appreciation rate was robust in the first quarter, home price appreciation was somewhat less widespread than in recent quarters,” says FHFA Supervisory Economist Andrew Leventis. “Twelve states and the District of Columbia saw price declines in the quarter—the most areas to see price depreciation since the fourth quarter of 2013. Although most declines were modest, such declines are notable given the pervasive and extraordinary appreciation we have been observing for many years.”

While the purchase-only HPI rose 5.7 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, prices of other goods and services were nearly unchanged. The inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 5.6 percent over the latest year.

Home prices rose in every state between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. The top five states in annual appreciation were: 1) Oregon 11.8 percent; 2) Florida 11.2 percent; 3) Washington 10.9 percent; 4) Nevada 9.4 percent; and 5) Colorado 9.0 percent.

Among the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., annual price increases were greatest in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Fla. (MSAD), where prices increased by 16.7 percent. Prices were weakest in El Paso, Texas, where they fell 2.8 percent.

Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the first quarter, posting a 1.9 percent quarterly increase and an 8.1 percent increase since the first quarter of last year. House price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 0.6 percent from the last quarter.

For more information, visit www.fhfa.gov.

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