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U.S. House Prices Up in Q1 and Year-Over-Year


U.S. house prices rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest House Price Index report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency [1] (FHFA). The quarter, however, showed the second-lowest increase since the end of 2015 and marked the second straight quarter in which the amount of the increase dropped from the quarter prior.

House prices in Q3 of last year rose 1.6 percent; that increase dropped to 1.54 percent in Q4.

However, compared to a year prior, house prices were up 6 percent in Q1, and that closely reflects the rate of growth the U.S. housing market has experienced year-over-year in each of the past six quarters. Also, FHFA's seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.6 percent from February.

Year-over-year, house prices rose in the District of Columbia and all states except two: North Dakota and Delaware, though depreciation in each was not even a full percent since last year. Prices in both states were down about 1 percent in Q1 compared to Q4, though North Dakota’s five-year appreciation finished Q1 at almost 30 percent. U.S. price appreciation over the same five-year period was almost 35 percent.

Year-over-year, the District of Columbia saw the largest rise in house prices at 14 percent. Colorado, Idaho, and Washington saw increases above 10 percent, while New Hampshire saw prices rise 9.5 percent since last year.

Quarter-to-quarter, D.C. again saw the biggest bump in home prices, up almost 6 percent. New Hampshire saw prices rise 4.27 percent over the quarter. Nebraska saw a nearly 3.5 percent rise; and Vermont about 3 percent.

Nine states saw prices decrease over the quarter, with Hawaii seeing the largest drop, nearly 2.5 percent. Even so, of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the first quarter, posting a 2 percent quarterly increase and a 7.7 percent increase since the first quarter of last year.

House price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 1 percent from the last quarter, FHFA reported.

Among the 100 largest metros in the U.S., price increases compared to a year ago were greatest in the Grand Rapids area, where prices increased by 13.7 percent.  Prices were weakest in San Francisco area, where they fell 2.5 percent.