WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. house prices edged up 0.3 percent in August from July on a seasonally-adjusted basis, marking the 19th consecutive monthly increase, official data showed on Wednesday.
House prices rose 8.5 percent in August 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 18.2 percent from a year ago, while the Middle Atlantic division, including New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, saw the smallest annual increase of 4.0 percent.
The house price index in August, said the FHFA, was still 9.4 percent below the April 2007 peak level and roughly the same as the April 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 reported Monday that the median existing home price for all housing types was 199,200 U. S. dollars in September, up 11.7 percent from a year earlier, marking 10th consecutive month of double-digit year-on-year increase.