FHFA HPI Rises for Ninth Straight Month in October

House prices fell in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy in October, but price increases were strong in other parts of the U.S., according to the latest reading of a house price index based on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase mortgage transactions.

The seasonally adjusted HPI published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Thursday morning shows prices rose 0.5% nationwide in October after a 0.2% increase in September.

The FHFA HPI has posted price increases for nine straight months and it’s up 5.6% from October 2011.

The FHFA divides the U.S. into nine regions. Seven regions posted house price increases in October on a month-over-month basis. However, prices fell 1.3% in the mid-Atlantic region and 0.3% in New England, which are just starting to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Both regions have been laggards in terms of house price appreciation this year. In October, prices are up just 0.2% in the mid-Atlantic from a year ago, while prices in New England are down 0.9%.

Other regions are experiencing price increases ranging from 3.4% in the East South Center region (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama) to 13% in the Rocky Mountain states running from Montana down to New Mexico.