The government confirms what the private-sector Case-Shiller Index reported yesterday. Nationwide, average home values slipped in October.
The Federal Home Finance Agency’s Home Price Index shows home values down 0.2% on a monthly, seasonally-adjusted basis. October marks just the second time since April that home values fell month-over-month.
The Case-Shiller Index 20-City Composite showed values down 0.7 percent from September to October.
As a home buyer in Mason , it’s easy to look at these numbers and think housing markets are down. Ultimately, that may prove true. However, before we take the FHFA’s October Home Price Index at face value, we have to consider the report’s flaws.
There are three of them — and they’re glaring. As we address them, it becomes clear that the Home Price Index — like the Case-Shiller Index — is of little use to everyday buyers and sellers in places like Oakley.
First, the FHFA Home Price Index only tracks home values for homes backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages. This means that homes backed by the FHA, for example, are specifically not computed in the monthly Home Price Index.
In 2007, this was not as big of an issue as it is today. in 2007, the FHA insured just 4 percent of the housing market. Today, the FHA is estimated to have more than one-third of the overall housing market.
This means that one-third of all home sales are excluded from the HPI — a huge exclusion.
Second, the FHFA Home Price Index excludes new home sales and cash purchases, accounting for home resales backed by mortgages only. New home sales is a growing part of the market, and cash sales topped 29 percent in October 2011.
Third, the Home Price Index is on a 60-day delay. The above report is for homes that closed in October. It’s nearly January now. Market momentum is different now. Existing Home Sales and New Home Sales have been rising; homebuilder confidence is up; Housing Starts are showing strength. In addition, the Pending Home Sales Index points to a strong year-end.
The Home Price Index doesn’t capture this news. It’s reporting on expired market conditions instead.
For local, up-to-the-minute housing market data, skip past the national data. You’ll get better, more relevant facts from a local real estate agent.
Since peaking in April 2007, the FHFA’s Home Price Index is off 18.3 percent.
The government is confirming what the private sector has already shown — home values are on the rise.
The Federal Home Finance Agency’s Home Price Index shows home values rose 0.8% in July.
July marks the fourth straight month that home values climbed and the FHFA’s Home Price Index is the latest in a series of “rising home values” reports — an encouraging trend for buyers and sellers in Madeira and nationwide.
Nationwide, values are back to their highest levels since November 2010. Clearly, the housing market in Ohio is moving in the right direction. Or is it?
Although the data from the government and from private firms such as CoreLogic is encouraging, it’s also flawed. As such, we have to be careful about the conclusions we draw from the data.
The flaws of Home Price Index are glaring :
- Only homes backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are included in the index. In today’s market, because of the FHA’s popularity, that leaves 1 of 3 homes “uncounted”.
- Only home resales are counted. New home sales are omitted entirely.
- The data comes with a 60-day delay. The October market is different from July’s.
Despite these shortcomings, however, the Home Price Index remains relevant. It’s among the most through home valuation models and it’s often used by economists and policy-makers.
When the Home Price Index is rising, Wall Street and Capitol Hill take notice. For residents of “Main Street”, however, the data may not be as important. To get local, up-to-date market statistics in Mt Lookout, for example , talk with a professional real estate agent.
Since peaking in April 2007, the FHFA’s Home Price Index is off 17.6 percent.