Freddie Mac last week released its quarterly home price survey for 1Q07. The GSE's data indicated that home values rose 0.4% for the quarter, or 1.7% on an annualized basis. This compares with a revised annualized growth of 5.4% for 4Q06. The agency noted that this was the slowest quarterly growth rate in more than 12 years.

The GSE also began reporting data for "new purchase-transactions" only, similar to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (Ofheo). This index showed home prices grew 1.3% in the first quarter on an annualized basis, and 2.8% year-over-year - the slowest rate of growth in 14 years.

Last week, Ofheo reported similar results of 0.45% home price appreciation for the first quarter, and 1.81% annualized. Considering only purchase transactions, Ofheo reported home price growth at 3.0% between the first quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007.

"With home-sales prices rising just 1.3%, house price appreciation did not keep pace with the overall level of inflation during the quarter, and as the housing market settles near the bottom of its cycle during the second half of this year, we will likely see national home price growth slow further with price declines in many parts of the U.S.," Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft noted. "At the moment, we're forecasting home price appreciation to slow further later in the year, with a total average rise in home values nationally of around 1% over the whole year as measured by the purchase-only series."

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