NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Home prices rose 0.8% in April compared with March and were up 3.8% from a year ago, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 major housing markets.
That good news is tempered by a couple of factors. First, the one-year comparison was against a low-ebb mark. In April 2009, prices were just above a five-year low. Overall, prices are off 30% from their peak
Secondly, the improvement came during a time when the federal government was heavily subsidizing home sales through an $8,000 homebuyer's tax credit. That credit is about to expire.
"Other housing data confirm the large impact, and likely near-future pullback, of the federal program," said David Blitzer, a spokesman for Standard and Poor's.
Once the tax credit fully expires, home prices are likely to take a beating, according to Pat Newport, a housing market analyst for IHS Global Insight.
"The housing glut and foreclosures will drive the national Case-Shiller index down another 6% to 8%, with prices bottoming in 2011," he said.
The strongest rebound has been in California, where S&P tracks three major markets. San Francisco prices jumped 2.2% month-over-month and are up 18% year-over-year, more than any other city in the 20-city index.
San Diego prices rose 0.7% compared with March and 11.7% since April 2009. Los Angeles prices rose 7.8% over the past 12 months, and 0.7% in April.
The biggest loser over the past 12 months has been Las Vegas, down 8.5%. Prices rose there 0.3% there month-over-month.
Only two cities saw values fall during the month. Miami prices fell 0.8% for the month, which pushed the city into negative territory for the year at -0.5%. New York dropped 0.3% month-over-month and is off 1% year-over-year.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.94%||3.91%|
|15 yr fixed||3.05%||3.07%|
|30 yr refi||3.94%||3.97%|
|15 yr refi||3.10%||3.12%|
Today's featured rates:
CNN began 35 years ago with a style still familiar today, but with touches that are now as dated as leg warmers. More
Workers with college and graduate school degrees saw their wages fall the most last year. The least educated saw a slight bump in pay. More
A new iOS app called Abused Emojis aims to make it easier for kids to communicate abuse. More
Karlos Dansby, a linebacker with the Cleveland Browns, is bringing his winning strategy from the football field into the startup arena. More
Wealthy millennial women are more likely to make at least as much -- if not more -- than their husbands, and are more likely to be the dominant decision-makers on household finances and investments, according to a new report. More