Home prices rose again for the third consecutive month in April, gaining 0.8% from the previous month and 3.0% year-over-year, according to data released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in its monthly House Price Index.

The index—which tracks purchase prices on houses with mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac across the nine U.S. Census divisions—was highest in the West, with the Pacific region reporting the strongest price gain, up 2.2%. The Mountain division was close behind with a 1.9% improvement. New England reported the poorest performance with a decline of 1.2%. Annually, however, the Mountain region registered first with a 6.5% gain.

The good news was echoed by the National Association of Realtors, which today reported that existing-home prices gained 2.9% from April to May. "Favorable levels of valuations and mortgage affordability mean that the foundations for a sustainable improvement in housing are firmly in place," wrote Paul Diggle, an economist at Capital Economics, in a statement released yesterday in anticipation of today’s report.

See the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s full House Price Index for April.

Claire Easley is senior editor, online, at Builder.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Greenville, SC.