Upward momentum in U.S. house prices remained strong in the third quarter, as prices rose 2.0 percent from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the ninth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index and it marks the first time since 2009 that the national house price level is higher than it was five years ago.

“Overall, the housing market experienced another strong quarter, but price appreciation in the latter part of the quarter was relatively subdued,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “Price increases in August and September of 0.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively, were notably below appreciation rates observed earlier this year and in late 2012.”

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Compared with last year, house prices rose 8.4 percent from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.3 percent from August.

FHFA’s expanded-data house price index, a metric introduced in August 2011 that adds transaction information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, rose 2.2 percent over the latest quarter. Over the last four quarters, that index is up 8.8 percent. For individual states, price changes reflected in the expanded-data measure and the traditional purchase-only HPI are compared on pages 21-23 of this report.

The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose 8.4 percent from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013 while prices of other goods and services rose only 1.2 percent. The inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 7.2 percent over the latest year.

Significant Findings:

  • The seasonally adjusted, purchase-only HPI rose in 48 states and in the District of Columbia during the third quarter. Top 5 in annual appreciation: 1) Nevada 2) California 3) Arizona 4) Florida and 5) Washington.
  • Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the latest quarter, posting a 4.2 percent increase and a 19.2 percent increase since last year. House prices were weakest in the East South Central division, where prices increased 0.8 percent from the prior quarter.
  • As measured with purchase-only indexes for the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., third quarter price increases were greatest in the Stockton-Lodi, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) where prices increased by 8.3 percent. Prices were weakest in the Virginia-Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA, where they fell 2.2 percent.
  • Over the past year, only 1 MSA —Winston-Salem, NC — had a negative appreciation rate and 11 of the 20 MSAs with the highest appreciation rates were in California.
  • The monthly seasonally adjusted purchase-only index for the U.S. has increased for the last 20 consecutive months.

Click here to read the complete report at FHFA.gov.