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||3.92%||3.97%|
|15 yr fixed||3.00%||3.08%|
|30 yr refi||3.99%||4.02%|
|15 yr refi||3.10%||3.16%|
Today's featured rates:
Benmosche sparked controversy and criticism during his five years running AIG, but oversaw turnaround that resulted in taxpayer profit on bailout. More
Potential presidential candidate says that improvement in unemployment rate is due to millions of jobless not being counted. More
These people say they've already finished watching all 13 episodes of the new season of 'House of Cards.' More
A social media frenzy about the color of a dress is bringing fame and fortune for one small British fashion company. More