WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home prices jumped in January from a year earlier at the fastest pace in nearly 2 ½ years, as a tight supply of houses for sale spurred bidding wars in many cities.
The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 5.7 percent in January, the most since July 2014.
Americans stepped up home buying in January, even as mortgage rates rose. Many buyers likely sought to close their deals before rates increased further. The Federal Reserve implemented its third rate hike in two years March 15, but economists at S&P Dow Jones Indices say higher rates won't slow sales until later this year.
The biggest price gains were in Seattle, Portland and Denver, which have topped the other cities in the index for months.