House prices continued to be unfazed by the current economic upheaval. The
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reports that its U.S. House Price Index
for April, the first full month that reflects the impact of the pandemic, continued
to rise almost unabated.

The index increased by 0.2 percent from March compared to a 0.1 percent
increase from February to March. On an annual basis the index rose 5.5 percent,
down slightly from the 5.7 percent gain in both February and March.



Prices did decline from March in two of the nine census divisions, New England
was down 0.2 percent and the South Atlantic was off by 0.5 percent. The index
in both the Pacific and Mountain regions were unchanged. Gains elsewhere were
topped by an 0.8 percent increase in the West South Central division. The
12-month changes were all positive, ranging from 5.0 percent in the Middle Atlantic
division to 6.8 percent
in the Mountain division.




“U.S. house prices posted another positive monthly increase in April,”
according to Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and
Statistics at FHFA. “Regionally, results varied. Two of the usually
stronger growth areas, the Mountain and Pacific divisions, were flat over the
month but other divisions continued to experience strong price appreciation
even with all of the COVID-19 challenges. Both the New England and South
Atlantic regions saw monthly decreases in prices, but all divisions posted
positive year over year growth of at least 5 percent. The number of
transactions used to estimate the HPI were slightly down from March to April
but were still a robust sample. We expect the normal spring bump in sales
was pushed off by the COVID-19 shutdowns and may extend into the summer months
as states reopen and real estate sales pick back up.”

FHFA’s purchase only HPI is based on the sales of homes financed by one of
the two GSEs, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The Index was benchmarked at 100 in
January 1991 and is currently at 288.3

By Jann Swanson , dated 2020-06-24 10:08:57

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Courtesy of Mortgage News Daily

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