The agency said home prices rose 7.3 percent on a 12-month basis in February but remain 11.2 percent below their peak, which came in April 2007.
Prices for homes in the United States are approximately the same level as January 2005, said the agency, which keeps track of prices of homes with mortgages backed by either the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., better known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Among the nine census divisions, prices rose fastest in May in the South Atlantic division, gaining 1.8 percent. From April, prices dropped most in the East South Central division, where prices declined 1.5 percent.
Over 12 months, prices are up 2.7 percent in the East South Central division, the lowest regional gain, to 15.8 percent in the Pacific division, the highest regional gain.