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FHFA: Home Prices Up in January

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported Wednesday that home prices rose 0.3% in January from the prior month in its latest Home Price Index (HPI). 

Home prices are up 5.2% year-over-year. The HPI also states that December 2019’s increase was revised from 0.6% to 0.7%. 

“U.S. house prices continued to increase at a moderate pace in January,” according to Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “Transactions in January were unlikely to reflect much, if any, influence from the COVID-19 outbreak. House prices in the Pacific and South Atlantic regions grew somewhat faster over the year ending in January 2020 than observed the same time a year ago.”

The FHFA, however, reports that price growth over the past year has dropped from January 2018 to January 2019, falling to 5.2% growth from 5.7% growth. 

The Mountain Region posted the largest drop in price growth, as prices grew by 6.1% over the past year compared to 8.2% from January 2018 to January 2019.

Just two regions recorded higher price growth over the past year when compared to the year prior. The Pacific saw prices grow 4.8% to 5.2% and the South Atlantic recorded price growth of 6.4%—a slight increase from the previous year’s 6.1% growth. 

Two regions—Mountain and West North Central—recorded month-over-month declines in price growth. The Mountain region recorded growth declined by 0.2% and the West North Central had growth fall by 0.1%. 

Despite an uptick in prices, New Home Sales grew 14.3% annually in February with 765,000 new homes sold, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

This represents a 4.4% drop from January’s revised rate of 800,000. 

The Bureau reports that the median sales price for a new house sold in February 2020 was $345,900 and the average sales price was $403,800.

Additionally, the estimate for available inventory at the end of February was 319,000, which is a 5-month supply at the current sales rate.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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