FHFA Examines Home Prices at Both Regional and MSA Levels

As part of my Saturday morning ritual, I like to start my day trolling the Internet for potentially useful information for my clients, in the hopes of helping those looking to relocate to the greater St. George, Utah, area. Helping them gain critical insight on their own local market.  On a monthly basis the National Association of Realtors puts out their Economists’ Outlook blog which goes around the country gathering pertinent MLS activity data for the sole purpose of drilling down on regional markets. Which more often than not finds itself subject to regional market conditions and variables.

While some may understand many of these abbreviations – I have to assume that some do not. So, as a quick roadmap the acronyms you’re about to bounce into in this rather brief but helpful article, I will provide a quick translation … from gibberish to English:

FHFA = Federal Housing Finance Agency

MSA = Metropolitan statistical area

NAR = National Association of Realtors

  • Earlier this week, we looked at the FHFA and Case-Shiller release focusing on national data trends.  Today, we’ll dig a bit deeper to look at more local data at the regional, state, and city or MSA level.
  • FHFA releases monthly data at the Census division level and quarterly state and metro area data.  Case-Shiller offers data on 20-cities monthly.  Both of these sources confirm the trend seen in NAR measures.
  • At the regional level: the most robust home price gains from a year ago were still in the West in spite of the fact that this region has seen the biggest drop in the growth rate.  NAR reported price change of 6.4% and 6.5% from a year earlier in both June and July in the West.  According to FHFA year over year prices in June 2014 rose 9.4 percent in the Pacific division which includes Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California and 7.3 percent in the Mountain division which includes Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.
  • While NAR data showed the smallest price growth from a year ago in the Northeast (0.6% for the year ending in June and 2.7% for the year ending in July), FHFA showed the smallest gains of 1.9 percent in the East South Central Census division which includes the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
  • State by state data showed that Western states top the list.  Nevada and California each saw house prices rise in the double-digits, 14.8 and 11.4 percent, respectively.  North Dakota is ranked 4th in a list that includes DC in the rankings at number 3.  At the other end, only Mississippi saw a loss in home prices from one year ago.  Connecticut and Alaska each saw home price gains of less than 1 percent.
  • Among cities, Case-Shiller reported the biggest year over year gains in Las Vegas and San Francisco.  Each had more than 12% year over year gains—high, but a marked slowdown.  Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit, and San Diego were next on the list, each showing year over year gains of more than 10 percent from a year ago.  The smallest gains in Case Shiller’s cities were Cleveland at 0.8 percent, Charlotte at 3.8 percent and New York at 4.3 percent.  However, the data provided evidence that the longer trend may be shifting. San Francisco had the smallest month to month price gain whereas New York had the largest.
  • For a more detailed, interactive look at home prices in more than 150 metro areas, see
  • NAR’s quarterly metro area median info graphic.

It’s been a busy night playing with the website, re-building it in anticipation that at some point in the near future, banks will be willing to lend at a slightly more helpful pace. Ultimately allowing those looking to relocate to southern Utah in making a seamless transition; closing escrow on their old place and new St. George home simultaneously.

Have a great Saturday,

Alex Yeager