Home prices rose 1.5 percent from June in the report's 10-city index and 1.6 percent in the 20-city index.
All 20 cities tracked in the report saw month-to-month prices rise for the third consecutive month in July, the report added.
On an annual basis, the prices in the 10-city index rose 0.6 percent, while prices in the 20-city index rose 1.2 percent, the report said. For 15 of the 20 cities, the annual price gains were steeper in July than in June.
The exceptions include Dallas and Washington, D.C., where annual rates were unchanged compared to a year earlier and Cleveland, Detroit and New York, where annual rates were lower in July.
After nine months of double-digit annual declines, Atlanta breached the double-digit barrier, with annual rate in July of minus 9.9 percent.
Four cities show annual prices in decline, including Atlanta, Chicago (with the index down 0.9 percent), Las Vegas (down 1 percent) and New York (down 2.6 percent).
The highest annual gain is in Phoenix, where a housing market bust has turned around. The annual rate gain was 16.6 percent in July, far and away the highest gain in the 20-city index.
The second highest gain was in Minneapolis with a gain of 6.4 percent. In Detroit, the one-year price change in July was 6.2 percent.
"With May's data, we saw a continuing trend of rising home prices for the spring," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.