U.S. house prices dropped 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from July to August, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index.

The 0.8% rise that was reported back in July was revised to reflect no change. For the 12 months ending in August, U.S. prices fell 4.0%, according to the index. The U.S. index is 19.1% below its
April 2007 peak and approximately the same as the February 2004 index level.

The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses backing mortgages that
have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, noted the FHFA. 

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from July to August ranged from -1.3% in the West North Central division to0.9% in the South Atlantic division.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poors also released its home price figures. Home prices barely moved in August on a sequential basis, but compared to a year ago values declined 3.8%, according to new figures compiled by S&P.

The S&P/Case-Shiller house price index inched up just 0.2% in August but managed to post its fifth consecutive monthly gain.

Overall, values are down 31% from their 2006 peak and it likely will take years before a true recovery is in sight.

According to the latest measurement, today's prices match values established back in mid-2003 levels. (In March, values were at mid-2002 levels.)

Although the new results were not particularly encouraging, S&P's index committee chairman David Blitzer pointed out that the Midwest "really stands out in terms of recent relative strength. Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis have all posted very sharp monthly increases going back to May."

In contrast, the August HPI report shows that prices in Atlanta and Las Vegas have fallen 6.3% and 5.8% respectively, since August 2010.

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