Home Prices Up 1.9% In First Quarter

Following an announcement from the U.S. Census Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development that new home sales had jumped 2.3% in April, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) revealed on Thursday that home prices increased by 1.9% during the first quarter of 2013.

It was the seventh consecutive quarterly increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted House Price Index (HPI), the FHFA said.

‘The housing market has stabilized in many areas, and homebuilding activity has strengthened in recent quarters,’ said Andrew Leventis, principal economist for the FHFA, in a release. ‘That said, labor market weakness and still-elevated foreclosure pipelines remain hindrances to a more robust recovery.’

Home prices rose 6.7% from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, according to the FHFA.

The HPI includes transaction information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration.

The seasonally adjusted purchase-only HPI shows that house prices rose in 41 states and the District of Columbia during the first quarter. Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase, at 4.4%. Prices were weakest in the Middle Atlantic region, where they increased 0.3%.

The largest increases were in the Jacksonville, Fla., area, which saw prices jump 9.3% from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. The weakest area was southern Fairfield County, Conn., which saw prices fall 3.5% over the same period.


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