The U.S. housing market turned in another strong month in November.
According to the Home Price Index, a monthly housing metric from the Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA), U.S. property values climbed another one-tenth of one percent in November, marking the 22nd straight month of home price growth.
As compared to one year ago, home values are up close to 8 percent nationwide. Values are expected to climb through the early part of 2014, too. Today’s home buyers are finding it hard to find “bargains” in housing.
Home Price Index : 22 Straight Months Of Gains
The FHFA Home Price Index is a government-published home-valuation tracker. It tracks the change in a given home’s value between subsequent sales, using data supplied to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the mortgage approval process.
The index is benchmarked to a value of 100, which is meant to represent the U.S. housing market as it existed in 1991.
In November 2013 — for the second straight month — the Home Price Index topped 207, putting the index at its highest point since July 2008. This is significant because July 2008 was just 14 months into last decade’s housing downturn. Home values had not yet dropped in many U.S. markets.
November’s reading hints that a complete, 100% recovery may be nearing.
Furthermore, November’s HPI marks the 22nd straight month in which the Home Price Index gained. This is a statistic unmatched in close to seven years. Plus, twenty-two months is more than just a blip — it’s a bona fide winning streak.
Demand among buyers remains strong, while home inventory remains scarce. The combination is pushing U.S. home values up. Just ask any buyer today — it’s tougher to find great, cheap homes today as compared to this time last year.
Thankfully, mortgage rates are dropping. Since the start of January, mortgage rates have dropped four straight week. Home affordability is improving at a time when buyers want it most.