Home values rise, but at lesser rate, Freddie Mac says...

REAL ESTATE WATCH

September 16, 2001

Home values rise, but at lesser rate, Freddie Mac says

Home values in the second quarter rose at an annual rate of 6.9 percent nationwide, down from 9.2 percent in the previous quarter, according to Freddie Mac's Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index.

Freddie Mac, the government-chartered corporation that makes funds available to mortgage lenders, said housing remained strong through the first half of the year, partly because of low mortgage interest rates.

But Freddie Mac expects the housing market to slow down and then stabilize as a result of the attacks Tuesday, according to an updated economic forecast.

The South Atlantic states, which include Maryland, beat the national figure, increasing at an annual rate of 7 percent. Over the last five years, home values in the South Atlantic region climbed 33.4 percent.

New England states topped all regions with an annualized 9.9 percent increase. In that region, home values have risen 51.1 percent over the past five years.

Nationally, home values have risen 35.7 percent over the past five years and are growing at an annualized rate of 6.3 percent.

"Home values have appreciated at more than twice the rate of consumer price inflation, which means housing remains a good investment for families," said Amy Crews Cutts, senior economist for Freddie Mac.

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