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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Home prices rose in March from February in most major U.S. cities for the first time in seven months. The increase is latest evidence of a slow recovery taking shape in the troubled housing market.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index shows that prices increased in 12 of the 20 cities it tracks.

Prices increased in Tampa and Miami - two of the hardest hit markets. Las Vegas - the nation's worst market - so no change in prices.

Prices dropped sharply in Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta.

The increases partly reflect the beginning of the spring selling season. The month-to-month prices aren't adjusted for seasonal factors.

The overall index of 20 cities was essentially unchanged in March, after falling 0.8 percent in February.

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