Single-family home prices rose an average of 4.5% in the year ended Sept. 30, according to the home price index maintained by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

The index reflects repeat sales and refinancings of single-family mortgages that are purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The oversight office monitors the two mortgage agencies.

Another government index-compiled by the Federal Housing Finance Board- showed that home prices rose 5.9% in the 12 months ended Oct. 31. Those numbers are closely watched because Fannie and Freddie increase their loan ceilings in tandem with that index.

The numbers differ because the finance board's data are focused on houses being mortgaged from month to month, said Patrick Lawler, the oversight office's chief economist. The oversight office's data exclude loans too large to be bought by Fannie and Freddie.

In 1993 and 1994, the Finance Board's index showed home prices declining, while the oversight office's index showed slight price gains. But "over long periods of time, the indexes have performed similarly," he said.

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