Late yesterday, Freddie Mac released its quarterly Conventional Home Price Index (CMHPI) for the first quarter.

For the quarter, the purchase only series fell 2.7% for an annualized drop of 10.4%, which is larger than what was reported last week by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO).  Year-over-year, the index fell 4.4%,  the largest annual value drop in more than 39 years, the GSE said.   

OFHEO reported a 1.7% decline in its seasonally-adjusted purchase only house price index in the first quarter 2008 from 4Q07, 6.92% annualized.  Year-over-year, prices are down 3.1%, which was the largest decline in the purchase only index's 17-year history, the press release said. 

In the agency's broader series called the CMHPI classic series, which includes both purchase transactions and refinancings, prices fell 0.6% for the quarter (2.4% annualized), and 0.8% year-over-year. 

Freddie Mac said this was also the first annual drop in this index in over 39 years.  This was also slightly greater than what the OFHEO reported, which was a 0.2% slip in the first quarter, and flat year-over-year.

"Particularly striking has been the depth and breadth of home-value declines across the U.S," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft

For example, by region all areas saw quarterly price declines in the purchase only series. The largest declines were reported in the Pacific (6.9% quarterly change/-24.8% annualized), New England (-2.9%/-11.0%), and the South Atlantic (-2.6%/-10.1%).  Meanwhile, the West South Central region saw just a 0.5% decline).

Under the classic series, four regions recorded negative home price growth for the quarter: Pacific (-3.4%/-12.8% annualized), South Atlantic (-0.7%/-2.7%), Mountain (-0.3%/-1.3%) and New England (-0.1%/-0.2%). 

Freddie Mac's report also said that 46 states registered price declines in the first quarter for purchase transactions; 29 states had year-over-year declines. 

Nothaft expects further declines in average home values through the remainder of the year and into 2009.

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