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FHFA House Price Index Up 1.3% in Q3

Summary:
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released the U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for the most recent month. Here is the opening of the report. U.S. house prices rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter of 2015 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the 17th consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.8 percent from August. House prices rose 5.7 percent from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015. The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. New this quarter, video highlights of the HPI are available online. [Link to reports] Investing.com had forecast a 0.5 percent increase. The chart below illustrates the HPI series, which is not adjusted for inflation, along with a real (inflation-adjusted) series using the Consumer Price Index: All Items Less Shelter. In the chart above we see that the nominal HPI index is rapidly approaching its pre-recession peak of what's generally regarded to have been a housing bubble. Adjusted for inflation, the index remains well off its historic high. The next chart shows the growth of the nominal and real index since the turn of the century.

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released the U.S. House Price Index (HPI) for the most recent month. Here is the opening of the report.

U.S. house prices rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter of 2015 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the 17th consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.8 percent from August. House prices rose 5.7 percent from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015.

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. New this quarter, video highlights of the HPI are available online. [Link to reports]

Investing.com had forecast a 0.5 percent increase.

The chart below illustrates the HPI series, which is not adjusted for inflation, along with a real (inflation-adjusted) series using the Consumer Price Index: All Items Less Shelter.

FHFA House Price Index Up 1.3% in Q3

In the chart above we see that the nominal HPI index is rapidly approaching its pre-recession peak of what's generally regarded to have been a housing bubble. Adjusted for inflation, the index remains well off its historic high.

The next chart shows the growth of the nominal and real index since the turn of the century.

FHFA House Price Index Up 1.3% in Q3

For an interesting comparison, let's overlay the HPI and the most closely matching subcomponent of the Consumer Price Index, Owners' Equivalent Rent of Residences (OER). Note: For an explanation of OER, see this PDF commentary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

FHFA House Price Index Up 1.3% in Q3

HPI and OER moved in close parallel from the 1991 inception date of the former until early 1999, when the two parted company and HPI began accelerating into the housing bubble. HPI then fell 20.7% over the next 48 months to its March 2007 trough. Confirmation of the "bubble" designation for house prices is the 40.2% spread between HPI and OER in January 2007.

Is another housing bubble forming? The current spread is 16.5%.


For additional perspectives on residential real estate, here is the complete list of our monthly updates:

Jill Mislinski
Jill has been working with Advisor Perspectives since 2012 and is currently their Research Director as part of Doug Short’s team. Her background is in mathematics and physics and she holds a Master of Science in Physical Science with a concentration in physics and astronomy from the University of Chicago.

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