Magazine article Mortgage Banking

OFHEO Finds Q1 Home Prices 'Slow but Positive'

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

OFHEO Finds Q1 Home Prices 'Slow but Positive'

Article excerpt

The average price growth for a home in the United States during the first quarter of 2007 remained "slow but positive," showing a slight increase from the previous quarter, according to OFHEO.

OFHEO's House Price Index (HPI)--which is based on data from sales and refinance transactions--was 0.5 percent higher in the first quarter than in the fourth quarter of 2006, moderately below the revised growth estimate of 1.3 percent from the third to the fourth quarter of 2006. Prices in the first quarter of 2007 were 4.3 percent higher than they were in the same quarter in 2006.

OFHEO's purchase-only index--which is based solely on purchase price data--indicates less price appreciation for U.S. houses than the HPI does over the past year as the purchase-only index increased 3 percent between the first quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007, compared with 4.3 percent for the HPI.

Although some forecasters expected to see a drop in the HPI, nationwide house prices continued to rise in the first quarter of 2007, albeit at the lowest rate in 10 years, according to OFHEO Director James Lockhart.

"As always, real estate prices are local, with seven states showing double-digit annual appreciation rates and seven with rates less than 2 percent," said Lockhart. "Seven states, including Florida and California, also showed home-price depreciation in the first quarter."

The states with the greatest rates of appreciation between the first quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007 were: Utah at 17 percent; Idaho at 12.3 percent; Montana and Wyoming, each at 11. …

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