Prices Perked up in April

U.S. house prices rose slightly in April for the first month-to-month increase since last May, according to new numbers released today by the Federal Home Finance Agency, a branch of the Treasury Department.

Prices rose 0.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from March to April, according to the FHFA’s monthly House Price Index. For the 12 months ending in April, U.S. prices fell 5.7 percent.

The FHFA number echo similar data from FNC, Altos. ClearCapital, Move and other sources reporting an uptick in prices in April, following the double dip in prices during the first quarter.

Despite the monthly bump up, the US index is 19.3 percent below its April 2007 peak and roughly the same as the January 2004 index level.

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.

In April, prices rose in the Pacific 1 percent, West South Central was up 2.1 percent, East North Central was up 1.4 percent, East South Central was up 1.8 percent, New England was up 2.2 percent, and Middle Atlantic was up 1.3 percent. Prices declined in these divisions: Mountain down 1.3 percent, West North Central down 0.6 percent, South Atlantic down 0.2 percent. Over the prior year, prices are down in each of the Census divisions.

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