U.S. monthly house price index up 0.9 percent

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. home prices rose 0.9 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from April to May, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index. The previously reported 0.1 percent decline in April was revised to a 0.3 percent decline. For the 12 months ending in May, U.S. prices fell 5.6 percent. The U.S. index is 10.7 percent below its April 2007 peak.

“Revisions and volatility of the monthly index make it hard to draw any conclusions, but the seasonally-adjusted HPI for the first five months of this year is up 0.3 percent or 0.7 percent on an annualized basis,” said FHFA Director James Lockhart.

The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. For the nine Census Divisions, seasonally-adjusted monthly price changes from April to May ranged from -2.0 percent in the New England Division to +2.7 percent in the Pacific Division.

Monthly index values and appreciation rate estimates are provided in the table and graph on the following pages. As with FHFA’s quarterly HPI, the estimates will be revised as new data become available. Quarterly HPI reports include updated monthly data presented in the same format as the attached table.

For detailed information on the monthly HPI, please see the HPI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The next release of monthly and quarterly index data will be on August 25, 2009 and will include monthly data for June and quarterly data for the second quarter of 2009.