Home prices in August rose 4.6% over year ago levels, making it the biggest annual leap in prices since July of 2006, CoreLogic said in its Pending Home Price Index Tuesday.

When comparing August to July, prices edged up a slight 0.3%. August represents the sixth consecutive month of price increases when comparing sale values to year ago levels. Those figures included distressed sales, which may be sold at lower values.

When excluding distressed sales, home prices in August jumped 4.9% from 2011.

"Again this month prices rose on a year-over-year basis and our expectation is for that to continue in September based on our pending HPI forecast," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "The housing markets gains are increasingly geographically diverse with only six states continuing to show declining prices."

Arizona, a state once battling falling prices and foreclosures, fared the best with single-family prices shooting up 18.2% from year ago levels in August. Idaho experienced a 10.4% jump in values, followed by Nevada, which recorded a 9% annual increase.

The five states with the most price depreciation when compared to last year included Rhode Island (a 2.6% drop in prices); Illinois (-2.3%); New Jersey (-1.4%); Alabama (-0.7%); and Connecticut (-0.5%).

"Sustained economic recovery in the U.S. requires a healthy housing market," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "You cannot have a healthy housing market without price stabilization and ultimately home price appreciation. Improving pricing trends over the past few months and our forecast for continued gains in September bode well for a progressive rebound in the residential housing market."