U.S. home prices increased 1.1% in the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter and were up 5.7% from the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).
The report shows that although home prices continued to rise, the rate of appreciation slowed significantly from a year earlier.
The average U.S. home price increased only 0.3% in December compared with November.
The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
William Doerner, supervisory economist for the FHFA, says home price appreciation in the fourth quarter slowed the lowest level in four years.
“House prices rose throughout 2018 but at a slower rate than in recent years,” Doerner says in a statement.
The average home price increased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018.
States that saw the most growth in home price appreciation, year-over-year, in the fourth quarter included Idaho (11.9%), Nevada (11.2%), Utah (9.8%), Georgia (8.2%) and Arizona (8.2%).
States that saw the least growth in home price appreciation included North Dakota (0.0%), Connecticut (0.9%), West Virginia (1.6%), Louisiana (1.8%) and Oklahoma (2.0%).
Home prices increased in 98 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., with San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif., leading the way with a 17.0% year-over-year increase.
Prices were weakest in Urban Honolulu, Hawaii, where they fell by 2.0%.
Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division experienced the strongest growth during the fourth quarter; up 1.6% compared with the third quarter and up 8.1% compared with the fourth quarter of 2017.
Home price appreciation was weakest in the West South Central division, where prices rose by 4.3% year-over-year.