While prices are expected to drop for the year 2012, house prices were left unchanged from December to January, according to the FHFA's monthly House Price Index.[IMAGE]
Over a 12-month span ending in January 2012, prices fell 0.8 percent.
While the drop is not dramatic, the U.S. Index shows prices are 19.2 percent below the April 2007 peak and roughly the same as the February 2004 index level.
The previously reported 0.7 percent increase in December was revised downward and is now reported to be 0.1 percent increase instead. The most recent drop, according to the index, was between September and October when prices dropped 0.9 percent.
The FHFA monthly index is based on the purchase prices of homes backing mortgages that
have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
When assessing home price changes according to census divisions, some areas saw increases, with the West North Central region up 4.7 percent from December to January.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Other divisions that increased the same time period included Pacific (+0.9) Mountain (+0.9), and the Middle Atlantic (+0.8).
The West South Central division saw the greatest decrease from December to January at 1.7 percent and was followed by New England (-1.3 percent), East South Central (-1.2 percent), East North Central (-1 percent), and South Atlantic (-0.8).
The index also shows that the West North Central division went from a 5 percent drop in prices from January 2010 to 2011 and a 5.2 percent price increase from January 2011 to 2012. The Mountain area saw the greatest drop at 8.3 percent from January 2010 to 2011, but only dropped 0.2 percent from January 2011 to 2012.
*States in each division*
Pacific - Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California
Mountain - Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico
West North Central - North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas,
West South Central - Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana
East North Central - Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio
East South Central - Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama
New England - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut
Middle Atlantic - New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida