Home prices in the U.S. rose 0.5% in the month of April, according to the FNC Residential Price Index. The index increased for the first time since the withdrawal of the homebuyer tax credit in April 2010, despite nation's economic malaise. Prices in April shrugged off downward pressure from a continued high number of foreclosures. The FNC 10-MSA composite showed a 0.4% increase from March. The 30-MSA increased 0.6% in April. Home prices nationwide remained 6.4% lower than one year ago. These results are contrary to what others may believe are continued price deteriorations, FNC analysts said. Listing activities increased more than 65% with the arrival of the summer home-buying season. The difference between the initial listing price and the final sales price dropped 4% in the first quarter of 2011 from a 6.7% difference at the end of 2010. The amount of time these distressed properties spent on the market dropped to 2.5 months in April from four months in October 2010. Home prices in 17 markets went up at an average rate of 2.5%. "Despite downward price pressure from high volumes of foreclosure sales, home prices continue to gain traction in April after remaining relatively unchanged in March," FNC said. Write to Matthew Torres