U.S. home prices rose 0.9% in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, on an adjusted basis, and were up 4.5% compared to the third quarter of 2013, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).
It was the 13th consecutive quarter in which home prices increased. The FHFA's HPI is calculated using price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The report shows that home prices held flat in September compared to August.
‘Easing interest rates and modestly improving labor market conditions helped to drive up prices in the third quarter,’ says Andrew Leventis, principal economist for the FHFA, in a release. ‘The price increases were relatively small in most areas, however, and are consistent with the type of market deceleration that other housing market statistics have shown in recent periods.’
After adding transaction information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, prices rose 1.5% compared to the second quarter and 6.0% compared to the third quarter of 2013.
The report reveals that home prices increased in 40 states during the third quarter. States that saw the biggest increases in annual appreciation included Nevada, Hawaii, California, North Dakota and Florida.
Of the nine census divisions, the West South Central division posted the biggest increase in the third quarter, with a 1.8% increase over the second quarter and a 5.8% increase compared to the third quarter of 2013.
The Middle Atlantic division was the weakest, with a 0.1% decline in home prices compared to the second quarter.
Metropolitan areas that saw the biggest increases in home prices in the third quarter included San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., where prices increased by 6.6%. Meanwhile, the Greensboro-High Point, N.C., area saw prices fall by 4.4%.
To access the full report, click here.