Freddie Mac: Home Prices Rise 0.9% In Q3

Freddie Mac says its Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index (CMHPI) Purchase-Only Series registered a 0.9% quarterly gain (3.8% annualized) during the third quarter, following an upward revised 2% pickup (8.2% annualized) in the second quarter and marking the second consecutive quarter of price increase.

The increases of the past two quarters erased about two-fifths of the declines registered during the final quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, Freddie says. Over the year ending with the third quarter of 2009, U.S. home sales prices were down 3.9% in the CMHPI Purchase-Only Series.

‘The home-price gains of the past two quarters reflect improving existing home sales over that period. Sales volume was up 15 percent between the first and third quarters of this year,’ says Frank Nothaft, the company's vice president and chief economist. Prices increased during the quarter in seven of the nine regions tracked by Freddie. All nine regions saw prices grow from their first-quarter values.

‘Prices are still down relative to their peaks in most markets. For example, as measured by the CMHPI, values in the New England, East North Central and Pacific divisions are at 2004 levels, on average, and the South Atlantic, West North Central, and Mountain states' home values are at 2005 levels," Nothaft says. "In contrast, average values in the West South Central area have tied their previous peak from the third quarter of 2008, while average home values in the Middle Atlantic and East South Central states have reached 2006 and 2007 levels, respectively. ‘

The CMHPI Purchase-Only Series excludes all refinancings in its calculation. Freddie Mac also produces a CMHPI Classic Series that includes data from both home purchase transactions and mortgage refinancings, with the latter values based on appraisals.

Generally, because appraisals are backwards-looking through the use of recent comparable property transactions, the Classic Series will typically lag changes in the Purchase-Only series. The CMHPI Classic Series indicated that average U.S. home values fell 2.1% (-8.1% annualized) during the third quarter and depreciated 4% over the year ending with the third quarter of 2009.

A regional breakdown of the house-price changes is available on Freddie Mac's Web site.

SOURCE: Freddie Mac


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