U.S. monthly house price index rises 0.8% from March to April

by bkrigbaum@solagroup.com

WASHINGTON, DC – June 22, 2010 – U.S. house prices rose 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from March to April, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. The previously reported 0.3 percent increase in March was revised to a 0.1 percent increase. For the 12 months ending in April, U.S. prices fell 1.5 percent. The U.S. index is 12.8 percent below its April 2007 peak.

The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. For the nine Census Divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from March to April ranged from -1.3 percent in the Middle Atlantic Division to +2.4 percent in the East North Central Division.

Federal tax credits for first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners contributed to the strength of house prices in April. The tax credits, which required that purchase contracts be signed by the end of April, increased sales volumes dramatically during the month and, in some cases, likely increased bidding prices.

Monthly index values and appreciation rate estimates for recent periods are provided in the table and graphs on the following pages. Click here for complete historical data.

For detailed information concerning the monthly HPI, please see the HPI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The next release will be July 22, 2010 and will include data for
May. The next release of quarterly data, which will include index estimates for the second quarter of 2010, will be Aug. 25, 2010.

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