The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) reported a 0.6% gain in U.S. house prices in February, slightly beating the 0.5% median forecast. The monthly HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
From February 2017 to February 2018, house prices were up 7.2%.
For the 9 U.S. census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from January 2018 to February 2018 ranged from a slight 0.1% gain in the West North Central division to 1.6% in the East South Central division. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from a 4.8% increase in the Middle Atlantic division to 10.3% in the Pacific division.
The FHFA HPI was released after the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which also covers all 9 U.S. census divisions. It rose 6.3% annually in February, up from 6.1% in January.
The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 6.5%, up from 6.0%, while the 20-City Composite saw a 6.8% year-over-year gain, up from 6.4%.
As with the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data, low inventory supply is a key factor in price appreciation. Rising home prices proved to be solid source of household wealth in 2017.