The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported this morning that U.S. home prices rose 0.6% month-over-month in November, following an upward revision of the October housing price index to a gain of 0.6%. For the 12-month period ending in November 2012, U.S. housing prices rose 5.6%. The agency noted that the index is 15.2% below its April 2007 peak and is about equal to the index reading in August 2004.
The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses with mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Home prices are recovering fastest in the Mountain states, which saw a price hike of 14.8% compared with November 2011. Over the past 12 months, home prices are up in every region of the country.
The good news on house prices — for sellers — is that they continue to rise in all regions of the country. The good news for buyers is that discounts to the 2007 peak remain substantial and mortgage loan rates are near record lows.