US Home Prices Fall in 3Q says FHFA

US home prices fell in the third quarter of 2010 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI).

The HPI, calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-acquired mortgages, was 1.6 percent lower on both a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis in the third quarter than in the second quarter of 2010. Over the past year, seasonally adjusted prices fell 3.2 percent from the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2010. The quarterly report analyzing housing price appreciation trends was released today by FHFA.

FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was down 0.7 percent from its August value. The monthly increase for the July-to-August period was revised from an initial estimate of +0.4 percent to 0.0 percent (flat prices).


While the national, purchase-only house price index fell 3.2 percent from the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2010, prices of other goods and services rose 2.0 percent over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes fell approximately 5.1 percent over the latest year.

FHFA’s all-transactions house price index, which includes data from mortgages used for both home purchases and refinancing, rose over the latest quarter. The index increased 1.1 percent in the latest quarter, although it is down 1.2 percent over the four-quarter period.

According to the report, census divisions in New England and the Mountain Division experienced the most significant price movements in the latest quarter, with prices rising 0.9 percent and and falling 4.0 percent respectively.


To view the full report, see here.

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  • Like so many cases, consumers are right to question if the bottom for home prices has been reached.

    Today CNBC discussed the unemployment problem with David Stockman. During the Carter years he served as a Representative in the House and during the early Reagan years he was the OMB Director. He was part of the economic team which successfully worked to reduce the outrageous interest rates the country faced in the late seventies and very early eighties.

    The employment and unemployment picture is ugly. Now there is a trend that unemployment among government workers is even on the rise (of course the new CFPB will help change that picture once it gets off the ground). Without a strong employment base, it is difficult to ignore a possible new dip in home values.

    Looking at other economic trends which have a direct correlation to employment, the picture right now is not bright. Yes, there are some signs in the housing industry that things could get better in that sector but the employment outlook seems to douse out those sparks of hope with buckets of ice water.

    The picture in world markets does not boost hopes or confidence. A segment was devoted to Hedge Funds which emphasize a Doomsday Strategy with some discussion about the book titled Black Swan and also an ELVIS fund. No one is saying this is the end but it seems as if they are warning that things will get worse before getting better. It reminds one of the Carter years.

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