Market Statistics – House Price Index

by Ed Pattermann on June 27, 2011

Real estate market statistics are an important tool for REALTORS® as we work with our clients. Timely statistics presented in a meaningful way can help communicate the history of the market, current trends and the reality of what buyers and sellers are facing today.

We have many useful statistics generally available to us, most from our MLS, such as:

  • Median Price
  • Homes (Units) Sold
  • Dollar Volume Sold
  • Listing Count
  • Months of Inventory
  • Days on Market

Another source I use for statistics is the House Price Index (HPI) from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (www.FHFA.gov).

The HPI indicates the rate of appreciation or depreciation for single-family homes, compared with one year ago, and is updated each quarter. From FHFA.gov:

The HPI is a broad measure of the movement of single-family house prices.  The HPI is a weighted, repeat-sales index, meaning that it measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties. This information is obtained by reviewing repeat mortgage transactions on single-family properties whose mortgages have been purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac since January 1975.

The HPI serves as a timely, accurate indicator of house price trends at various geographic levels.  Because of the breadth of the sample, it provides more information than is available in other house price indexes. It also provides housing economists with an improved analytical tool that is useful for estimating changes in the rates of mortgage defaults, prepayments and housing affordability in specific geographic areas.

Here is detailed information on how the HPI is calculated and a good FAQ on the HPI. FHFA also provides a calculator to use the HPI to determine the change in value on a home, based on where it is located, when it was bought and for how much.

FHFA updates the House Price Index each quarter for the entire United States–9 regions across the country, all 50 states and over 300 Metropolitan Statistics Area (MSAs). There are 6 MSAs in Arizona:

  • Phoenix, Mesa and Glendale
  • Tucson
  • Prescott
  • Lake Havasu City/Kingman
  • Flagstaff
  • Yuma

I have taken the HPI data for the 6 Arizona MSAs and generated charts of the data. All 6 charts are available on www.ArizonaHPI.com. I also created charts for Arizona and the U.S.

They are unbranded charts, and you may use them however you would like.

Below is an example of the HPI chart for the Prescott MSA. Each bar represents the HPI for that quarter. Its value represents the appreciation or depreciation compared with one year ago. So a Q1 2011 value of -9.8 means that the House Price Index, or basically the value of a single-family home in the Prescott MSA, has gone down 9.8% from one year ago.

The values in the chart show whether the House Price Index has gone up or gone down from one year ago. Values above the line represent a time period where there is appreciation in the market. Values below the line indicated periods where home prices have depreciated from one year ago. The trends in the chart (the upward and downward movement) show whether we are heading in a positive direction or negative.

We as REALTORS® are often asked when will we see appreciation again in our market. I wish we had a crystal ball. But when we get close to that time, the HPI should be approaching zero, and when it does happen, the HPI will be a positive value.

And that is something we can all look forward to.

Visit www.ArizonaHPI.com for complete House Price Index charts for all 6 Metropolitan Service Areas in Arizona.

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House Price Index | Arizona House Price Index (HPI)
June 27, 2011 at 11:19 am
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January 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

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Sage Dillon June 27, 2011 at 11:21 am

I used FHFA’s calculator and compared my home value there and on Zillow. It was lower on Zillow but not by much. Interesting data, Ed. Thanks for sharing!

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