MCLEAN, Va. - Home values rose 5.1% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of last year, according to Freddie Mac's conventional mortgage home price index.

The index rose 6.7% in the first quarter from the same period last year, Freddie said.

Of the nine regions surveyed, the most growth was in New England, where home values increased 10.2% from the fourth quarter. The Pacific states followed, with a 6.3% growth rate. The Middle Atlantic region (New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) came in third, with a 6.2% gain.

The least growth was seen in the West South Central (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) and East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee) regions, where home prices appreciated 2.8% and 2.5%, respectively.

Separately, Freddie said its quarterly refinancing survey showed that 20% of conventional mortgage applications in the first quarter were for refinancing, down from 60% a year earlier.

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