The government is confirming what the private sector has already shown — home values are on the rise.
The Federal Home Finance Agency’s Home Price Index shows home values rose 0.8% in July.
July marks the fourth straight month that home values climbed and the FHFA’s Home Price Index is the latest in a series of “rising home values” reports — an encouraging trend for buyers and sellers nationwide.
Nationwide, values are back to their highest levels since November 2010. Clearly, the housing market is moving in the right direction. Or is it?
Although the data from the government and from private firms such as CoreLogic is encouraging, it’s also flawed. As such, we have to be careful about the conclusions we draw from the data.
The flaws of Home Price Index are glaring :
- Only homes backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are included in the index. In today’s market, because of the FHA’s popularity, that leaves 1 of 3 homes “uncounted”.
- Only home resales are counted. New home sales are omitted entirely.
- The data comes with a 60-day delay. The October market is different from July’s.
Despite these shortcomings, however, the Home Price Index remains relevant. It’s among the most through home valuation models and it’s often used by economists and policy-makers.
When the Home Price Index is rising, Wall Street and Capitol Hill take notice. For residents of “Main Street”, however, the data may not be as important. To get local, up-to-date market statistics , talk with a professional real estate agent.
Since peaking in April 2007, the FHFA’s Home Price Index is off 17.6 percent.