What a difference a month makes.  After posting monthly price increase in all but one month since early 2012, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported on Wednesday that its House Price Index (HPI) has slammed on the brakes.  The index, which had risen 0.4 percent from November to December remained unchanged in January.



On a year-over-year basis the HPI was up by 5.7 percent.  This followed a 6.1 percent annual increase in December.  January marked the first time the year-to-year gain had slipped under 6 percent since July and the smallest such gain since June.  The absolute number of the national index was 242.6 compared to 229.6 in January 2016.  The index base was January 1991=100.

Three of the nine census divisions saw prices decline from December to January, with the largest downturn, 2.0 percent, in the East South Central Division.  Prices were also down in the East North Central and New England divisions.  The greatest gain was in the Pacific region, up 0.6 percent for the month.



The 12-month price changes were all positive, ranging from a low of 3.5 percent in the East South Central to 8.3 percent in the Mountain division.

The HPI is based on home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.