(CNN) — There is encouraging news in the housing market. Home prices in 20 major markets posted a nine-point-three-percent rise over the last 12 months, according to the S-and-P Case-Shiller Index. That's up from the eight-point-one-percent rise in January and is the biggest 12-month gain in the index since May 2006.
The housing recovery has been driven by a near record-low mortgage rates, a drop in foreclosures and reduced unemployment. Despite the improvement, the index is still down 28-percent from the peak in 2006.