The pace of home price appreciation slowed notably in February, at least as reflected in the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA's) House Price Index (HPI).  The index, which is calculated using home sales information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, rose 0.3 percent from January to February and was up 4.9 percent on an annual basis.



FHFA's index stood out in January when it jumped 0.6 percent from its December level and had a 5.6 percent increase compared to January 2018.   Price indices for the month released by other entities had showed considerable slowing; most had monthly appreciation of 0.1-0.2 percent and annual changes in the 4 percent range.

Analysts had anticipated a retreat from the January pace.  Those polled by Econoday had forecast an 0.4 percent month-over-month increase.

Of the nine census divisions, two saw price declines.  The HPI in the Middle Atlantic division dropped 1.2 percent and the previously hot Mountain division saw prices fell 0.5 percent.  The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from 3.5 percent in the West South Central division to 6.5 percent in the Mountain division.  Eight of the nine divisions posted smaller annual price gains in February than they did in February 2018; several rates were cut by more than half.  The exception was the East South Central Division where the annual rate increased from 6.1 percent to 6.4 percent.



The FHFA HPI was indexed to 100 in January 1991. The current national index stands at 272.8.