U.S. House Prices Rose 1.8 Percent From First Quarter to Second Quarter 2012

Largest Price Increase Since Fourth Quarter of 2005

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—August 23, 2012.  U.S. house prices rose 1.8 percent from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2012 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI). The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. Seasonally adjusted house prices rose 3.0 percent from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for June was up 0.7 percent from May.

“Although some housing markets are still facing significant challenges, house prices were quite strong in most areas in the second quarter,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “The strong appreciation may partially reflect fewer homes sold in distress, but declining mortgage rates and a modest supply of homes available for sale likely account for most of the price increase.”

FHFA’s expanded-data house price index, a metric introduced in August 2011 that adds transactions information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, rose 2.0 percent over the latest quarter. Over the latest four quarters, the index is up 2.4 percent. For individual states, price changes reflected in the expanded-data measure and the traditional purchase-only HPI are compared on pages 28-30.

While the national, purchase-only house price index rose 3.0 percent from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012, prices of other goods and services rose 1.7 percent over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 1.3 percent over the latest year.

Significant Findings:

  • The seasonally adjusted purchase-only HPI rose in the second quarter in 43 states.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest prices in the latest quarter, posting a 4.2 percent price increase. Prices were weakest in the New England division, where prices were flat over the quarter.
  • As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 25 most populated Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the U.S., second-quarter price increases were greatest in the Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area Division (MSAD.) That area saw prices increase by 8.3 percent between the first and second quarters. Prices were weakest in New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ MSAD, where prices fell 1.5 percent over that period.

The complete list of state appreciation rates is on pages 25-26. The list of metropolitan area appreciation rates computed in a purchase-only series is on page 39. Appreciation rates for the all-transactions metropolitan area indexes are on pages 40-56.


This quarter’s highlights article constructs and analyzes “distress-free” house price indexes for various metropolitan areas. Foreclosure data licensed from CoreLogic and DataQuick Information Systems are used in conjunction with other data sources to identify and remove short sales and sales of bank-owned property from the index estimation dataset. The article details the methodology and compares recent price trends for the distress-free metrics against those reflected in FHFA’s standard purchase-only indexes.


FHFA’s purchase-only and all-transactions HPI track average house price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same single-family properties. The purchase-only index is based on more than 6 million repeat sales transactions, while the all-transactions index includes more than 46 million repeat transactions. Both indexes are based on data obtained from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for mortgages originated over the past 37 years.

This HPI report contains tables showing: 1) House price appreciation for the 50 states and Washington, D.C.; 2) House price appreciation by census division and for the U.S. as a whole 3) A ranking of 304 MSAs and MSADs by house price appreciation; and 4) A list of one-year and five-year house price appreciation rates for MSAs not ranked.

  •  Please e-mail [email protected] for a printed copy of the report.  
  • The next quarterly HPI report, which will include data for the third quarter of 2012, will be released Nov. 27, 2012.  
  • The next monthly index, which will include data through July 2012, will be released Sept. 25, 2012.

To view the above references, see:  http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/24216/q22012hpi.pdf


The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks.

These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.7 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets

and financial institutions.