Housing prices in February posted their first year-over-year increase in more than three years, according to the closely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index.

Prices fell in 11 of the index's 20 cities, however.

Overall, prices rose 0.6%, according to figures released Tuesday. The last time they rose year over year was in late 2006. Las Vegas — one of the hardest hit cities in the nation in terms of price declines — saw the largest annual drop at almost 15%.

The index declined from January by 0.1%. Before that there were eight consecutive month-to-month increases.

Some housing economists say home prices may have bottomed out in the fourth quarter, but few are predicting significant gains in the year ahead, especially with federal tax credits tied to home purchases expiring this month.

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