House prices declined 0.6% over the month of August, following July's downwardly revised -0.8% print, according to the monthly house price index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released Thursday.

The consensus had been looking for a decline of 0.5% in the month, following July's index, which was originally reported as having fallen by 0.6%. For the 12 months ending in August, U.S. prices fell 5.9%.

Seven of the eight regions surveyed had declined in the month. Leading the decreases was a 1.8% fall in the Pacific region, followed by a 0.8% decline in the Mountain region.

Prices also fell 0.6% in the West-South Central region, 0.7% in the East-South Central region and 0.5% in the South Atlantic region.



The smallest drops were seen in the West-North Central region, which fell by 0.4%, the Middle Atlantic region, which fell 0.3% and the East-North region, which fell 0.1%.

The only region where prices advanced was in New England, which saw a 0.4% monthly gain in prices.

The FHFA monthly index (formerly called the OFHEO monthly house price index), is calculated using purchase prices of single-family houses backed by mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

By Patrick McGee and edited by Sarah Sussman
©CEP News Ltd. 2008