After a long winter of price declines, Standard & Poor's (S&P) finally reported that its 20-city house price index (HPI) turned up in April.

The S&P Case-Shiller house price index rose 1.3% in April for the first time since August.

“With April 2012 data, we finally saw some rising home prices,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee.

Prices in 19 of the 20 cities rose from March to April. Detroit is the only outlier. Prices in the Motor City fell 3.6% in the month of April.

Overall, the Case-Shiller HPI is down 2% from April 2011.

Home sales data have been stronger this year than in 2011 and the Case-Shiller HPI has been slower than other indexes to reflect the impact on prices.

The HPI published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has edged up three consecutive months, including 0.8% in April. The seasonally adjusted FHFA HPI is 3% higher than in April 2011.

The FHFA HPI is based on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase mortgage transactions.

Since January, the median sales price of previously owned homes has gone up for four straight months, according to the National Association of Realtors. In May, the median price was $182,600, up 7.9% from a year ago.

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