U.S. home prices rose 0.1 percent during January, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday. What's more, home prices are up 8.1 percent on a year-over-year basis -- the strongest growth since June 2006.

The average home price in the United States, based on a survey of homes in 20 cities, has returned to what they were in 2003. All 20 cities in the composite showed year-over-year gains, the highest of which was Phoenix with a 23.2 percent improvement.

“The two headline composites posted their highest year-over-year increases since summer 2006,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee, said. “This marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst.”

Atlanta, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Tampa also saw gains in housing prices. Among those cities, New York showed the smallest increase with only a 0.7 percent gain, but that represented a reverse from the past two years.

“After more than two years of consecutive year-over-year declines, New York reversed trend and posted a positive return in January,” Blitzer said. “The Southwest (Phoenix and Las Vegas) plus San Francisco posted the highest annual increases; they were also among the hardest hit by the housing bust. Atlanta and Dallas recorded their highest year-over-year gains.”