The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported this morning that U.S. home prices rose 0.2% month-over-month in July, following a downward revision of the April housing price index to a gain of 0.6%. For the 12-month period ending in July 2012, U.S. housing prices rose 3.7%. The agency noted that the index is 16.7% below its April 2007 peak and about equal to the index reading in June 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 11.9% compared with July of 2011. Only New England and the Middle Atlantic regions continue to show falling prices. Home prices in New England are down 0.5% and in the Mid-Atlantic states down 1.4% since July 2011.
This month’s FHFA index offers a further indication that the housing market is recovering. This morning’s S&P/Case-Shiller housing price index for July showed an increase in all cities included in the calculations.