Home price gains accelerated slightly in December, as the annual rate stood at 11.2 percent in November. In the fourth quarter, however, the national index dropped 0.3 percent from the third quarter, S&P said.
In the final month of the year, the 10-city composite index was unchanged, while the 20-city index declined 0.1 percent month to month.
Year-over-year, the 10-city index rose 13.6 percent, while the 20-city index rose 13.4 percent.
The highest gains were in Western cities. Los Angeles home prices posted a gain of 20.3 percent. Gains in Las Vegas over a year reached 25.5 percent. Gains hit 22.6 percent in San Francisco and 18 percent in San Diego, Calif.
Among the monitored cities, Cleveland posted the lowest gains with the price of a home up 4.5 percent. New York homes posted a gain of 6.3 percent. Charlotte, N.C., next on the list, posted a gain of 7.8 percent.
In a report covering homes backed by either the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. -- better known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae -- the Federal Housing Finance Agency said home prices rose for the 10th consecutive quarter in the October through December period.
Prices rose 1.2 percent from the third quarter to the fourth and rose 7.8 percent over the same quarter of 2012, the agency said.
Over the course of the year, home prices were down in one state, West Virginia, with prices off 1.78 percent. On the top of the list, prices rose 24.32 percent in Nevada, 19.5 percent in California and 15.22 percent in Arizona. Prices also climbed 12.87 percent in Oregon and 12.63 percent in Florida, the agency said.
By region, the Pacific region with a better than 16 percent gain was at the top of the list, followed by Mountain and South Atlantic regions. The Middle Atlantic region showed the smallest gains with prices up 3.5 percent.
From the point of view of local markets, among the 100 most populated markets, the greatest gain in the purchase price index in the fourth quarter was in the Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla., with a quarter-to-quarter gain of 7.2 percent. The lowest gains on that list was Charleston-North Charleston, S.C., with a pride drop of 6.5 percent.