The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national index, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, reported today that homes prices in 20 major U.S. cities rose 4.3 percent in October, up from a 3% year-to-year gain in September. This marks the biggest 12-month gain since May 2010.

California cities were among those seeing the biggest price gains. Los Angeles saw a 6.2% increase compared to a year ago, and San Diego and San Francisco each saw significant gains (6% and 8.9%, respectively). Phoenix led all cities by a wide margin with a 21.7% gain. New York and Chicago were the only two cities in the “20-city composite” that saw a decrease.

Seven of the 20 cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, also posted monthly gains in October over September, a sign that the housing market continues to improve even as we move into the traditionally slow sales season.

“Looking over this report, and considering other data on housing starts and sales, it is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength,” said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Higher year-over-year price gains plus strong performances in the southwest and California, regions that suffered during the housing bust, confirm that housing is now contributing to the economy.”

For the full report, go here.

Photo Above: 1145 Sunset Vale Ave, Sunset Strip