U.S. home prices retreated slightly in September as distressed sales and seasonal shifts dragged down prices.

Home prices fell 0.3% from August, according to a report released Tuesday by CoreLogic, a data firm.

Overall, home prices rose 5% in September compared with a year earlier for the biggest increase since July 2006.

Distressed sales include short sales and real estate-owned transactions.

CoreLogic said it expects prices to fall 0.5% in October following the end of the summer buying season. Still, the firm predicts that prices for the month will be up 5.7% compared with October 2011.

"Home prices are responding to better market fundamentals, such as reduced inventories and improved buyer demand," Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic's chief executive, said in a news release. "So far this year, we're seeing clear signs of stabilization and improvement that show promise for a gradual recovery in the residential housing market."

Of the top 100 cities the survey measures, home prices in 18 showed year-over-year declines, down from 27 in August.

Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Hawaii and Utah showed the biggest home price gains with distressed sales factored in, while Rhode Island, Illinois, New Jersey, Alabama and Delaware showed the greatest depreciation.

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