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FHFA: Fourth quarter shows no letup in home price appreciation

Home prices increased in December, showing no letup in home price appreciation during the fourth quarter, according to the latest House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Home prices increased 1.6% from the third to the fourth quarter, the report showed. In December, home prices rose 0.3% month-over-month. The chart below shows home prices have long since surpassed their previous peak, and continue to shoot up. Click to Enlarge The FHFA monthly HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because of this, the selection excludes high-end homes bought with jumbo loans or cash sales. “As we begin to evaluate home prices in the first quarter, we will monitor whether new headwinds—higher mortgage rates and changes in tax laws—will lead to any moderation in the rate of house price growth.” The latest Case-Shiller report also showed similar increases, saying home prices rose 6.3% annually in December. Of the nine census divisions, the Mountain division saw the strongest fourth-quarter appreciation, increasing 8.8% from the fourth quarter of 2016. On the other end of the scale, home price increases were weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 5.3% annually in the fourth quarter. The West North Central division saw the smallest quarterly gain with its increase of 1.36%.