Home prices rose slightly in April for the first time since the federal home buyer tax credit expired last summer, according to the CoreLogic house price index, which includes distressed sales.

The analytics firm reported that prices rose 0.7% from March to April despite the drag of foreclosure and short sales.

“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," said CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming.

Overall, the CoreLogic HPI is down 7.5% from April 2010 and 33.8% from the peak in house prices in April 2006. Excluding distressed sales, the HPI is down 22% from the peak five years ago.

The non-distressed HPI is down only 0.45% from a year ago and has posted back-to-back monthly increases of 0.55% and 1.78% in March and April, respectively. "It provides reason for cautious optimism," Fleming said.

However, the CoreLogic HPI is not seasonally adjusted and April is generally a strong month for sales.

Earlier in the week Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller reported that home prices in March fell for the eighth consecutive month and reached a new low for the housing recession, signaling that a “double dip” in values had occurred.

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