U.S. house 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.

In Greenville, home prices fell .3 percent during the quarter. In Anderson, home prices rose 1.4 percent. In Spartanburg, home prices rose 1.61 percent.

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 refinancings, 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.

Significant Findings:

  • Of the nine Census Divisions, the New England Division and the Mountain Division experienced the most significant price movements in the latest quarter. While prices rose 0.9 percent in New England, prices fell 4.0 percent in the Mountain Division.
  • Seasonally adjusted, purchase-only indexes indicate that prices rose in the latest quarter in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Prices rose over the latest four quarters in 10 states and Washington, D.C.
  • As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 25 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., four-quarter price declines were greatest in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA area. That area saw price declines of 10.1 percent between the third quarters of 2009 and 2010. Prices held up best in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA area, where prices rose 4.6 percent over that period.

The complete list of state appreciation rates are on pages 17 and 18 of the report. Click here to download the entire report. The complete list of metropolitan area appreciation rates computed in a purchase-only series is on page 29 and all-transactions indexes are on pages 32 – 47.

This quarter’s Highlights article analyzes the impact on the HPI of adding price information from county recorder data and FHA-endorsed mortgages. For the four states with the largest peak-to-current price declines, price trends for the “augmented” indexes are compared against developments measured in the standard HPI. Consistent with expectations, the augmented measures show greater price declines in the early part of the housing bust and slightly stronger price conditions in the latest recovery.

Local Comparisons
Since 1991, home prices have risen nationally by 90.6 percent, but have fallen 8.4 percent in the last five years.

In South Carolina, home prices have risen 80.4 percent since 1991 and have risen .7 percent in the last five years.

In Greenville metropolitan statistical area (Greenville-Mauldin-Easley), home prices have risen 10.2 percent in the last five years. In Anderson, home prices have risen 7.5 percent in the last five years. In Spartanburg, home prices have risen 6.29 percent in the last five years. MSA statistics are not available going back to 1991.