After six straight months of gains, nationwide home prices fell 0.3% last month from August, tamped down by low prices on distressed properties.
But compared with the same month a year ago, prices for single-family homes are up 5%, according to Irvine-based CoreLogic. That's the largest boost since July 2006 and the seventh straight year-over-year increase.
Prices in every state except for seven are up from last year, according to the report.
In California, they're up 6.9%. In the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area, prices saw a 4.8% surge. They advanced 5.2% in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario region.
But compared with their peak highs in April 2006, statewide prices are down 37.2%.
Arizona led all states in price appreciation in September with an 18.7% upswing, followed by 13.1% in Idaho and 11% in Nevada. Rhode Island prices tumbled the most, sliding 3.5%.
Removing the effect of short sales and foreclosure transactions, nationwide prices are up 0.5% from August.
As the surge of demand common during the peak summer season wears off, CoreLogic predicts that prices will fall again in October, down 0.5% from September. But compared with October 2011, they'll be up 5.7%.
"Home prices are responding to better market fundamentals, such as reduced inventories and improved buyer demand," Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic's chief executive, said in a statement. "So far this year, we're seeing clear signs of stabilization and improvement that show promise for a gradual recovery in the residential housing market."