Recent House Price Trends

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National house prices rise 6.2%

Freddie Mac released its full year 2015 house price index and an interactive data visualization. The seasonally-adjusted national index increased 6.2 percent year-over-year and is now 29.6 percent above the post-recession low, and just 4.1 percent below the (nominal) pre-recession peak (see graph below).

While national house price growth has been strong, there is considerable variation across the country. Some states and metro areas are already well above their pre-recession (nominal) peak, while other still have lots of ground to make up.

The map below shows the year-over-year percentage change in the Freddie Mac House Price Index by state in December 2015. The strongest house price growth is in the West and in Florida. The mid-Atlantic from Virginia through Pennsylvania has some of the weakest growth. The Midwest and Northeast have shown modest growth.

We can also compare the 2015 December values to the pre-recession peak. The map below shows how far each state is from its peak. The green states are above their pre-recession peak and stretch contiguously from Appalachia down to Texas and then up to the Canadian border. Both coasts are still significantly below their pre-recession peak, with Nevada, Florida, and Arizona all more than 20 percent below their peaks.

Freddie also publishes data on house prices for over 300 metro areas. The map below shows the annual percentage change by metro area. In order to get specific information check out the interactive visualization.

We can also compare the metro level index in December 2015 to its pre-recession peak (map below). Much like with the states the central United States is generally above its pre-recession peak. However, there are some interesting exceptions. California as a whole is 11 percent below its peak, but San Francisco and San Jose have surpassed their peaks. In general the coastal areas and metros bordering the Great Lakes are still well below their peaks. Overall, 34 percent of metros tracked are above their pre-recession peak.

Fastest growth in Florida, Nevada

Out of the top ten fastest growing metro areas in year-over-year house price growth (see table below), seven are in Florida and the top two are in Nevada. Carson City is the fastest growing metro with year-over-year house price growth of 18.3 percent. However, Carson City is also 24.1 percent below its pre-recession peak. Prices in Reno have nearly doubled since reaching their bottom, but are still almost 20 percent below the pre-recession peak.