US house prices rise

Washington, March 22 (IANS) US house prices maintained a moderate growth in January on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported.

House prices in January were 0.6 percent higher than a month earlier, according to the FHFA’s monthly House Price Index.
Over the 12 months ending in January, house prices rose 6.5 percent, the biggest gain since 2006, indicating a steady improvement in the US housing market, reported Xinhua.
However, the price variation across the country was ragged in January. For the nine census divisions, the prices of the Pacific division, including Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, climbed the most by 1.6 percent from December 2012, while the prices of the New England division, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, decreased 0.7 percent.
The FHFA also noted Thursday that house prices in January were still 14.4 percent below the April 2007 peak level and roughly the same as the September 2004 level.
The report measured changes in real estate values using purchases of properties with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It did not provide a specific price for houses.