(By Kevin Donovan) It cost more to buy a house in April, but don't break out the champagne. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said house prices rose 0.8% from the previous month. In March, the price index rose a revised 1.6%. And for the 12 months ending in April, the index was up 3.0%.
But the FHFA said prices remain 17.6% below the April 2007 peak and are essentially flat with 2004. That means if you bought a house eight years ago and are still in it, you've treaded water. So much for the notion of real estate as a piggy bank. That roof over your head is just shingles, not an appreciating asset.
Still, encouragement must be taken where it's found in an otherwise downbeat serving of economic pie today. Disappointing slices of information from the Philly Fed index and weekly jobless claims have lent a soggy feel for equities and commodities. Stocks and oil are lower. Bonds are higher.