Home prices have remained resilient amid the pandemic, continuing to rise on an annual basis, according to the latest home price index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Home prices in May rose 4.9 percent year over year while declining 0.3 percent from April, according to the home price index, released Wednesday.

“U.S. house prices posted a small decrease in May compared to April but remained 4.9 percent higher than a year ago,”  Dr. Lynn Fisher, deputy director of the division of research and statistics at FHFA, said in a statement. “The May HPI results are based on contracts for sale signed in late March and throughout April, which was a period when many states announced stay-at-home orders.”

“The number of transactions powering the FHFA HPI in May was down by just over 30 percent compared to a year ago, reflecting the early effects of COVID-19 shutdowns,” Fisher added. “Based on the rebound in mortgage applications for home purchases and pending home sales in May, we expect the number of transactions increased somewhat in June.”

Each of the nine census divisions tracked by the HPI was up annually, with the smallest increase in New England at 3.7 percent and the largest increase in the Mountain division at 6.3 percent.

The HPI, according to the FHFA, is, “a weighted, repeat-sales index, meaning that it measures average price changes in repeat sales or refinancings on the same properties. This information is obtained by reviewing repeat mortgage transactions on single-family properties whose mortgages have been purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac since January 1975.”

Email Patrick Kearns

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