WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. house prices edged up one percent in July on a seasonally-adjusted basis, marking the 18th consecutive monthly increases, official data showed on Tuesday.
House prices rose 8.8 percent in July from a year ago, according to the monthly House Price Index of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
Though the upbeat figures indicated a steady improvement in the U.S. housing market, the situation varied from region to region.
Among the nine census divisions, prices of the Pacific division, including Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, climbed the most by 20.8 percent from a year ago, while the East South Central division, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, saw the smallest annual increase of 3.8 percent.
The house price index in July, said the FHFA, was still 9.6 percent below the April 2007 peak level and roughly the same as the March 2005 level.
The FHFA 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.
The U.S. National Association of Realtors last week reported that the median existing home price for all housing types was 212, 100 U.S. dollars in August, up 14.7 percent from a year earlier.