FHFA: House Prices Up 1.4% in 4Q

Home prices rose on a quarterly and yearly basis through the end of December 2012, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index.

From the third quarter to the fourth, U.S. home values increased 1.4%. The fourth quarter represents the third consecutive quarter where national price growth exceeded 1%.

Additionally, prices were also up 5.5% from a year ago and the monthly index for December increased 0.6% from November.

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages.

“While a significant number of homes remained in the foreclosure pipeline, the actual number of homes available for sale was very low and fell over the course of the quarter,” said Andrew Leventis, principal economist at FHFA.

FHFA said the seasonally adjusted HPI rose in the fourth quarter in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

Out of the nine census divisions calculated by the HPI, the Pacific experienced the strongest price surge in the latest quarter, posting a 4.2% price increase. Other regional areas that saw an uptick in prices included the Mountain, West South Central, West North Central and South Atlantic, all up by 3.33%, 1.28%, 1.16% and 1.02%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the only region which saw home values remain unchanged on a quarterly basis was the East North Central.

Through the end of 2012, Arizona had the greatest house appreciation over the last year, in which property units were up more than 21%. Rounding out the top five on this list is Nevada, Hawaii, Idaho and California.