House prices in November in the Mountain region, which includes Colorado, were up substantially, rising 14.7 percent, year-over-year from November 2011 to November 2012. Nationally, the house price index rose 5.7 percent over the same period. The new house price index numbers, released this month by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency, also showed that the national index is down 14.9 percent from the peak level reached in June 2007, while the Mountain region's index is down 22.2 percent over the same period. The FHFA monthly index is calculated using purchase prices of houses purchased with loans that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It is a repeat-sales index similar to the Case-Shiller index, but limited to GSE loans. November's mountain-region growth rate was the largest growth rate reported in the region since March 2006.
The second graph shows each month's house price index compared to the same month a year earlier: November 2012 was the tenth month in a row in the mountain region during which the house price index rose year over year, following 52 months of year-over-year declines.
This report is just the latest home price index showing accelerating growth in home prices in the US and regionally. A 14.7 percent increase, however, is quite a bit higher than what we're seeing in most indices for Colorado and Denver metro specifically. The most recent Case-Shiller index for metro Denver, for example, shows a year-over-year growth rate of 7.8 percent.