Annual home prices rise again – FHFA

By Amina Niasse

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Annual home prices in October rose again, pointing toward continued recovery of the housing market, data on Tuesday showed.

A Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) report showed home prices grew 6.3% on a yearly basis, up from a revised 6.2% the month prior.

Annual price growth began to accelerate in June after declining steadily since February 2022. Prices increased moderately by 0.3% on a month-to-month basis after climbing by 0.7% the month before.

Rates on the most common home loan neared 8% in October, reaching a two-decade high on the back of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike cycle.

The Fed left its policy benchmark interest rate unchanged for three consecutive meetings, bolstering expectations of a closing rate hike cycle and stoking a rally in the bond market.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below 7% in December, as yields on mortgage-backed securities headed down. Existing home sales have risen moderately since then, gaining 0.8% in November and indicating softening rates may draw sellers from the sidelines and open up inventory to prospective buyers, a National Association of Realtors report released in December showed.

The Mid-Atlantic and New England regions experienced the largest gains in October, of 9.9% and 9.7%, respectively, according to the FHFA report.

(Reporting by Amina Niasse; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)