OFHEO House Price Index Shows Dramatic Increases In Fourth Quarter 2003

March 2, 2004

U.S. Home Prices Average 3.67 Percent Higher in Fourth Quarter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Average U.S. home prices increased 7.97 percent from the fourth quarter of 2002 through the fourth quarter of 2003. Appreciation for the most recent quarter was 3.67 percent, or an annualized rate of 14.67%. The figures were released today by Armando Falcon, Jr., Director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), as part of OFHEO’s House Price Index (HPI). The HPI is a quarterly report analyzing housing appreciation trends.

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OFHEO House Price Index

The appreciation shown in the 4th quarter HPI is more than two percentage points higher than the increase in the previous quarter and the appreciation is geographically widespread. During the period, all but two states saw prices rise and even states that had been lagging the nation as a whole experienced a substantial acceleration in house price growth.

"The fourth quarter surge is particularly impressive right now because it comes on the heels of m uch more moderate increases earlier in the year,” said OFHEO Director Falcon.

A stronger economy and continued low mortgage rates contributed to the growth in prices. "Rising incomes and borrowing costs below 6 percent extended a prolonged period of rapid house price gains,” said Patrick Lawler, Chief Economist at OFHEO.

Other significant findings in the HPI:

  • 2003 marks the fourth consecutive year in which house priceshave risen more than 7.5 percent, on average, across the country.
  • The biggest price increases during the past year occurred in Rhode Island, California and the District of Columbia and the lowest in Utah, Texas, and Colorado
  • Only three of the 220 ranked Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), experienced negative quarterly growth, compared with four last quarter and 19 in the second quarter of 2003.
  • MSAs in California and Florida continue to dominate the Top 20, showing
    continued robust price appreciation.

OFHEO’s House Price Index is published on a quarterly basis and tracks average house price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same single-family properties. OFHEO’s index is based on analysis of data obtained from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from more than 26.5 million repeat transactions over the past 29 years. The HPI reflects price movements on a quarterly basis of sales or refinancings of single-family homes whose mortgages have been purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. OFHEO analyzes the combined mortgage records of these two government-sponsored enterprises, which form the nation’s largest database of mortgage transactions

This HPI report contains four tables: 1) A ranking of the 50 States and Washington, D.C. by House Price Appreciation; 2) Percentage Changes in House Price Appreciation by Census Division; 3) A ranking of 220 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) by House Price Appreciation; and 4) A list of one-year and five-year House Price Appreciation rates for MSAs not ranked.

Copyright: Inman News Features

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