U.S. house prices declined 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from December to January, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. The previously reported 0.3 percent decrease in December was revised downward to a 1.0 percent decrease. For the 12 months ending in January, U.S. prices fell 3.9 percent. The U.S. index is 16.5 percent below its April 2007 peak and roughly the same as the May 2004 index level.
The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. For the nine Census Divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from December to January ranged from -1.3 percent in the Mountain and South Atlantic Divisions to +1.6 percent in the West South Central Division.
Monthly index values and appreciation rate estimates for recent periods are provided in
the table and graphs on the following pages.