The rate of home price increases accelerated again in
October from their already heightened pace. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)
said its House Price Index (HPI) rose 1.5 percent compared to September. This
was down slightly from a 1.7 percent increase from August to September, however
the annual increase jumped more than a point, from 9.1 percent in September to
“U.S. house prices rose for the fifth straight month since states re-opened
their local economies,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, FHFA’s Deputy Director of
the Division of Research and Statistics. “The 12-month gain of 10.2 percent in
October is the highest annual appreciation observed since the 2004-2005 period.
Extremely low mortgage rates and a limited supply of homes for sale continue to
propel price gains. The data do not yet reflect renewals of some local and
state COVID-19 restrictions.”
The HPI is now 36.2 percent higher than at its
previous peak in 2007. It has risen almost 60 percent from the trough it hit in
2011, during the worst of the housing crisis.
Each of the nine census divisions had positive house price changes both from
September to October and on an annual basis. Monthly increases ranged from 0.9 percent in the West North
Central and East South Central divisions to 2.1 percent in the New England division. The
12-month changes were also lowest in the West South Central division at 8.4
percent and highest in the Mountain and New England divisions, each with a 12.5
FHFA’s HPI is based on the sales prices of homes
financed by the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The index was benchmarked at
100 in January 1991. The index in November was at 307.0.