LA CROSSE, Wis. -

As we enter the spring buying season, there are signs the housing recovery is strengthening.

Nationwide, home prices jumped more than 10% in February compared to last year, making it 12 straight months of increases.

In the La Crosse area, the median home price rose to $145,000 in 2012, that's the highest since the market collapsed in 2008.

Prices have been rising at a slow, steady pace in La Crosse.

Realtors say that's a good sign because it helps us avoid some of the problems they are seeing out West and down South. "The problems they face is when their median home prices and their average sale prices increased so rapidly that when the bubble burst they dropped so dramatically that people lost value immediately. Here we tend to be more conservative," said the president of the La Crosse area Realtors Association Mike Pietrek.

Delaware, Alabama, and Illinois were the only states to report price declines.