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FHFA: House Prices Up 1% In July

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WASHINGTON (9/25/13)--U.S. house price appreciation continued in July, rising 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from June, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency monthly House Price Index (HPI).
 
The July HPI change marks the 18th consecutive monthly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. The previously reported 0.7% increase in June remained unchanged.
 
The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Compared with July 2012, house prices were up 8.8% in July. The U.S. index is 9.6% below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the March 2005 index level.
 
Seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from June to July ranged from a 0.7% decline in the East South Central Census division, to a 2.2% rise in the Pacific division. The 12-month changes ranged from a 3.8% gain in the East South Central division to a 20.8% jump in the Pacific division. To see the FHFA report, use the link.
 
In a related matter, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 U.S. cities  rose in the 12 months ending in July. The increase is the most in more than seven years, and helps bolster homeowners' equity (MarketWatch, Bloomberg.com and Moody's Economy.com Sept. 24).         
 
The index rose 12.4%--the largest year-to year gain since February 2006.
 
Advances in stock and home values are adding to household wealth that in turn is boosting consumer spending, which comprises 70% of the U.S. economy, Bloomberg said.  
 
See related News Now story, "Mortgages In Ark., Okla., Texas CUs Top $3.3B."