How can I use this information?
Go to http://www.ofheo.gov/HPI.asp periodically for updates on home values in your area. The appreciation in
several divisions had slowed considerably as of 12/31/06 and may actually begin to depreciate in the near future.
Bookmark the site today so that you can find it when you need it. Metropolitan area data is also available at that site.
Just click the link titled "House Price Index for the Fourth Quarter of 2006". One year and five year appreciation data
for nearly 400 U.S. cities begins on pages 26 and 41 of that PDF file.
If you intend to retire and relocate, consider the areas that have experienced less appreciation in the last 25 years. If
you are from one of the high appreciation areas, you may be shocked at what $250,000 will buy in the East South
Central and West South Central divisions.
Although many consider their home to be an investment, home appreciation can not be converted into usable funds
unless the home is sold and replaced by a lower cost residence. If the payments, utilities, taxes, insurance and
maintenance on your home are so large that you are not able to provide for your retirement, consider downsizing
your home so that more of your funds are available for investment. This is especially true if you don't have the option
of retiring from a high appreciation area to a low appreciation area.
SignalTrend's unemotional computer timing system is currently bullish, but it may change its buy / sell
signal in the near future. If that happens, SignalTrend will notify you by email. Remember, SignalTrend's
stock market timing system was backtested 100 years with excellent results!
Some of the above research in this issue of Investment Tips was initiated by a request from one of SignalTrend's
subscribers. If you have a topic or theory you would like to know more about, please fill out the "Suggest a Topic"
field below and click submit. If your topic is accepted, SignalTrend will do the research for you using our
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1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
Source: Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO). All indexes are plotted in Logarithmic scale.
|Are Home Values Falling?
Proprietary Graphs, Tables and Analyses - All Rights Reserved
Home Price Index (HPI):
The home inflation graphs are derived from the HPI. The HPI is "designed to capture changes in the value of
single-family homes in the U.S." and is published by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO).
"The HPI 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." OFHEO reports HPI for each of the nine US divisions used by the Bureau of the
Census. See for more information.
The above figures may conflict with the figures from local, state or national realtor associations as published in the
press. That's because the HPI isn't reporting the same information. When realtors publish that home values fell by
4%, for example, they mean that the average sales price for all homes sold through and reported to their listing
services declined by 4%. If the volume of low priced home sales increased while the volume of medium and high
priced home sales were unchanged, then low priced home sales will represent a larger portion of total home
sales... resulting in a decline in the average sales price for all homes sold and reported through that realtor
association. That does not mean that home values have fallen. It means that lower priced homes are selling at higher
volumes relative to medium and or high priced homes.
Since the HPI measures changes in value on the same homes, it is a better estimate of home appreciation or
Pacific: Alaska, California, Guam, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington
New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
Middle Atlantic: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
Mountain: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
South Atlantic: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina
East North Central: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin
West North Central: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota
East South Central: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee
West South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
USA: All of the above nine divisions
● Home prices in the U.S. are still rising.
● Published realtor home appreciation data is sometimes misinterpreted in the financial press.
● All nine U.S. divisions were still appreciating as of 12/31/06.
● Appreciation rates in the Pacific, New England and Middle Atlantic have cooled significantly.
Homes in the Pacific Division are worth 14 times as much
as they were in 1975. (See the scale at the right.)
West South Central homes have only quadrupled in price.