Home prices rise more than expected

Home prices rose more than expected in March, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The FHFA home price index was 0.7%, higher than the forecast and previous six-month average of 0.5%.

Price rose for a 19th straight quarter in Q1, by 1.3%.

However, the pace of price gains is slowing down.

“Twelve states and the District of Columbia saw price declines in the quarter — the most areas to see price depreciation since the fourth quarter of 2013,” said FHFA supervisory economist Andrew Leventis.

“Although most declines were modest, such declines are notable given the pervasive and extraordinary appreciation we have been observing for many years.”

Year-on-year, prices rose 6.1% across the US. The largest gain, by 9.5%, was recorded in the Pacific region that includes California, Atlanta and Oregon. Oregon and Florida led quarter-on-quarter gains.

It’s a packed week for housing-market data. New home sales numbers were released Tuesday, and they crushed forecasts, rising to the highest level in eight years.

On Thursday, pending home sales data are due.

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