U.S. house prices fell in May, down 0.3 percent from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 4.9 percent from May 2019 to May 2020. The previously reported 0.2 percent increase for April 2020 was revised downward to 0.1 percent.
For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from April 2020 to May 2020 ranged from -1.0 percent in the New England division to +0.1 percent in the South Atlantic division. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +3.7 percent in the New England division to +6.3 percent in the Mountain division.
“U.S. house prices posted a small decrease in May compared to April but remained 4.9 percent higher than a year ago,” according to Dr. Lynn Fisher, deputy director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “The May HPI results are based on contracts for sale signed in late March and throughout April, which was a period when many states announced stay-at-home orders. The number of transactions powering the FHFA HPI in May was down by just over 30 percent compared to a year ago, reflecting the early effects of COVID-19 shutdowns. Based on the rebound in mortgage applications for home purchases and pending home sales in May, we expect the number of transactions increased somewhat in June.”