Prices for existing homes in 20 major metropolitan areas jumped 6.8% in December over the same time in 2011, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index.
That marked the largest year-over-year gain for the index since July 2006, and topped the 6.6% rise expected by economists, Bloomberg noted.
In November, the S&P/Case-Shiller index noted a 5.4% price increase over the prior year. That was revised slightly downward from earlier reports of a 5.5% gain.
Adjusting for seasonal price fluctuations, December home prices in the 20 major markets rose 0.9% compared to November. Without the seasonal adjustment, prices in the 20 cities gained 0.2% in December.
While all 20 major markets posted month-over-month increases, Las Vegas and Los Angeles showed the largest prices rises.
The news provided a boost for homebuilder stocks. Shares of Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) and D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) climbed more than 2% in Tuesday midday trading, while Ryland (NYSE:RYL) shares gained more than 1%.