FHFA: House Prices Continue To Increase

A new government report released Tuesday found that house prices in the United States increased 1.7 percent in the first quarter of the year.

House prices were up 0.1 percent in March over February – 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020 over the first quarter of 2019, according to the Federal Housing Finance’s Agency’s House Price Index.

“Home price growth in the first quarter outpaced annual growth from the same period a year ago as falling interest rates and shrinking inventories for sale led prices higher just prior to the crisis,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA.

Fisher added, “Because of the lag between contract signing and sale closing when our data are recorded, we judge the first quarter’s housing statistics were relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  However, we are unable to account for any modifications or cancellations of sales later in March.”

The report also found:

  • House prices have risen for 35 consecutive quarters, dating back to September 2011.
  • House prices rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia between the first quarters of 2019 and 2020 (all except West Virginia and Alaska).
  • The top five areas in annual appreciation were Idaho at 12.6 percent, Montana (10.2 percent), Wyoming (9.9 percent), Utah (9 percent) and Hawaii (8.8 percent).
  • The areas showing the lowest annual appreciation were West Virginia (-2.1 percent), Alaska (-0.1 percent), North Dakota (0.4 percent), Illinois (2.5 percent) and Connecticut (3 percent).
  • House prices rose in all top 100 of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States over the last four quarters.  

See the full report for metropolitan areas here and watch Fisher discuss the findings here: