FHFA: First home-price increase in a year

January gain tied to sales in strong markets

U.S. home prices rose a seasonally adjusted 1.7 percent from December to January, driven by a disproportionate number of sales in strong markets, according to a home-price index that tracks repeat sales of homes purchased with mortgages purchased or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index showed U.S. home prices down 6.3 percent from a year ago and 9.6 percent below their April 2007 peak.