Home prices appreciated in the first quarter of 2016 by 1.3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said this was the 19th straight quarter its Housing Price Index (HPI) had posted a gain.  The quarterly index was 5.7 percent higher than that for the first quarter of 2015, and FHFA noted that prices of other goods and services were virtually unchanged over that same period, making the inflation adjusted annual price increase 5.6 percent.



The month over month change in the HPI was 0.7 percent (February to March), 0.2 percentage points higher than the analysts' consensus estimate gathered by Econoday.  On an annual basis prices were up a strong 6.1 percent over the 12-month period.

FHFA's home price estimates are calculated using sales information from purchase only mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

Home prices rose in every state between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.  The top five states in annual appreciation were: Oregon at 11.8 percent, Florida 11.2 percent, Washington 10.9 percent, Nevada 9.4 percent and Colorado 9.0 percent.

Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the first quarter, posting a 1.9 percent quarterly increase and an 8.1 percent increase since the first quarter of last year.  House price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 0.6 percent from the last quarter.