Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Data Is Good Data

Today, we added a new and quite large dataset!... the entire collection of Home Price Indices (HPI) provided by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Using mortgage data supplied by the big government sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) FHFA formulates these indices using a repeat sale methodology similar to the one used to derive the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

Where this data excels is in coverage.

There are 684 home price indices in this dataset covering hundreds of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and all the census divisions some with both seasonally adjusted series.

A potentially weak point though is that this data is derived from GSE data, by definition, it only covers homes that could be purchased with a “conforming loan” (no Jumbos) and, for most series, data associated to refinance activity is included so there are points where the S&P/Case-Shiller data and FAFH don’t align well.

To at least minimally address this FHFA offers “purchase only” versions of many of the indices which, as the name implies, drops the refinance data from the source data prior to calculating the index.

To access just the purchase only data use purchase only as your search terms.

To access you areas local price index, find the MSA you are interested in and then use its official name as the search terms.

For example, for Baltimore County, MD use: Baltimore County, MD

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