The U.S. house prices continued its moderate growth in July on a seasonally adjusted basis amid record low mortgage rates, the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported on Tuesday.
The house prices in July were 0.2 percent higher than a month earlier, while the previously reported increase in June was revised downward to 0.6 percent, according to the FHFA's monthly House Price Index. Over the 12 months ending in July, the house prices gained 3.7 percent, signaling the housing market is steadily on the way to recovery.
However, the price variation across the country was ragged. For the nine census divisions, the Mountain division including Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico saw a 1.3 percent increase in the house prices from June to July, more than any other region, but the prices in the East South Central division including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama fell the most by 0.8 percent.
The report measured changes in real estate values using purchases of properties with mortgages back by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It did not provide a specific price for houses. As measured by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the U.S. median existing-home price for all housing types was 187,400 dollars in August, up 9.5 percent from a year ago.
The lowest mortgage rates on record helped boost home refinancing and purchasing, as the Federal Reserve's new bond purchase plan brought down fixed mortgage rates back to all-time lows.
While housing had improved during the past 12 months, activity remained well below historical standards and continued to show signs of only modest growth through the rest of 2012, said U.S. mortgage giant Fannie Mae in a recent report.
Still, the house prices in July were 16.4 percent below its April 2007 peak and roughly the same as the June 2004 level, noted the FHFA.