U.S. home prices rose slightly on a monthly basis in April, the first such increase since the expiration of a federal homebuyer tax credit program in mid-2010, according to data aggregator CoreLogic.

home-price index compiled by CoreLogic showed national home prices in April up 0.7 percent month-to-month. On a year-over-year basis, however, prices were down 7.5 percent — an even steeper annual decline than in March, when the index fell a revised 6.8 percent.

When distressed sales — short sales and REOs (bank-owned homes) — are excluded from the index, however, the index showed home prices declining year-over-year by 0.5 percent in April and 1.6 percent in March.

"While the economic recovery is still fragile and one data point is not a trend, the month-over-month increase based on April sales activity is a positive sign. This is the first month-over-month increase in the HPI since government support for homebuying was removed, and it provides reason for cautious optimism," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement.

Since the index’s April 2006 peak, home prices have fallen 33.8 percent, CoreLogic said.

The five states with the greatest depreciation in April were Idaho (-15.2 percent), Michigan (-13.2 percent), Arizona (-11.9 percent), Rhode Island (-11.6 percent) and Nevada (-11.4 percent).

The five states with the highest appreciation were North Dakota (+4.2 percent), Vermont (+3.4 percent), New York (+3.2 percent), Washington, D.C. (+2.2 percent) and Mississippi (+1.4 percent).

Of the 100 most-populous metro areas tracked by CoreLogic, 92 saw year-over-year index declines in April.

Change in CoreLogicHPI, 10 largest markets

Market Change from a year ago Excluding distressed
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. -11.1% -2.8%
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz. -11% -5.9%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. -9.1% -5.6%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. -5.1% 2.8%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. -4.1% -1.4%
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas -3.4% 6.4%
Philadelphia, Pa. -1.6% 1.7%
Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas -1.4% 4.9%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va. -0.3% 5.5%
New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. 2% 3.1%

Source: CoreLogic

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