Home prices rebounded in April following seven months of declines in nearly all of the major markets tracked by the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index.

From March to April, 19 out of 20 markets tracked by the index posted price gains, ranging from an almost imperceptible 0.1 percent in New York to a 3.4 percent monthly gain in San Francisco. Detroit saw prices fall 3.6 percent from March, making the only market tracked by the index not to see a monthly gain.

Looking back a year, prices were down from a year ago in half of the markets in the 20-City Composite, led by Atlanta (-17 percent), Las Vegas (-5.8 percent) and Chicago (-3.6 percent). In the Phoenix metro area — a market hit hard early in the downturn that’s now seeing tight inventory — prices were up 8.6 percent.

The 20-City Composite Index was up 1.3 percent from March to April, but down 1.9 percent from a year ago.

Those figures aren’t seasonally adjusted, and changes in home prices "are very seasonal, with the spring and early summer being the most active buying months," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices in a statement. But the seasonally adjusted data "were also largely positive, a possible sign that the increase in prices may be due to more than just the expected surge in spring sales."

Looking at the seasonally adjusted numbers, Bill McBride of the blog Calculated Risk thinks "it is likely that prices have bottomed, although I expect prices to be choppy going forward — and I expect any nominal price increase over the next year or two to be small."

S&P Case-Shiller Indices by metro market, April 2012

Metro area

April 2012 index level

Change from March

Change from year ago

Atlanta

84.50

2.3%

-17.0%

Boston

147.1

9 0.9%

0.1%

Charlotte

111.19

1.6%

0.8%

Chicago

103.92

1.1%

-5.6%

Cleveland

96.85

2.3%

-1.3%

Dallas

116.46

1.7%

2.8%

Denver

125.75

1.7%

2.8%

Detroit

65.26

-3.6%

1.2%

Las Vegas

90.84

1.1%

-5.8%

Los Angeles

162.17

1.5%

-3.6%

Miami

141.33

0.4%

3.2%

Minneapolis

109.84

0.5%

3.8%

New York

157.74

0.1%

-3.8%

Phoenix

109.01

2.5%

8.6%

Portland

131.62

2.0%

-0.9%

San Diego

151.75

1.4%

-1.8%

San Francisco

130.21

3.4%

-1.4%

Seattle

133.84

2.0%

-1.0%

Tampa

127.46

1.9%

0.8%

Washington

181.30

2.8%

1.6%

Composite-10

148.40

1.3%

-2.2%

Composite-20

135.80

1.3%

-1.9%

Indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000. Source: S&P Indices and Fiserv.

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