U.S. home prices rose 1.7% in January compared with December, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported Tuesday. It was the first monthly increase in a year.
Home prices were down 6.3% for the past year and were down 9.6% from the peak in April 2006, the FHFA said. In December, the year-over-year decline was 8.8%.
Falling home values have helped plunge the global financial system into chaos because of mortgage-backed securities. Homeowners have lost trillions of dollars of wealth.
The "unexpected rise" in January was partially due to stronger sales in some markets, the FHFA said. The FHFA index attempts to control for such changes in sales patterns, but the adjustment is not perfect, the agency said. The agency warned that its estimate was uncertain and subject to large revisions.
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