U.S. home prices increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7% for May, according to a Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) report (link opens as PDF) released today.
After bumping up a revised 0.5% for April, analysts had expected a slightly larger 0.8% gain for May. This latest report marks the 16th straight month of house price increases. Compared to May 2012, house prices are up 7.3%, but they remain 11.2% below their peak price in April 2007.
On a regional level, May's gain was pushed higher by a 1.8% month-to-month price increase in the South Atlantic (Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida), while the East South Central region (Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama) subdued results with its own 1.5% price drop.
Looking back over the last 12 months, the Pacific region (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California) has notched the biggest increase in prices (+15.8%), while the East South Central region lags the other regions, up just 2.7% in the past year.
The FHFA's Housing Price Index is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.