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Metro Areas See Solid Home-Price Growth

The numbers are in... the majority of metropolitan areas experienced strong year-over-year price growth in the fourth quarter. Las Vegas is among them. The median existing single-family home price increased in 73-percent of markets measured by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Of those, 33-percent experienced double-digit growth, including Las Vegas which was up 27-percent. Much of that is being attributed to tight housing supplies.

The national median single-family home price nationwide was $190,000 in the fourth quarter. That's up 10.1 percent from the same time the previous year. In Las Vegas, the median single-family price was $160,000.

The five lowest-cost metro areas in the fourth quarter were Toledo, Ohio at $80,500 followed by Rockford, Ill; Cumberland, Md; Elmira, NY and South Bend, Ind. On the flip side, the five highest-cost metro areas in the fourth quarter were San Jose, Ca at $775,000 followed by San Francisco, Honolulu, Anaheim-Santa Ana and San Diego.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says "New home construction activity needs to increase significantly in the fast appreciating markets to help relieve upward pricing pressure." In 2013, housing starts were at 924,000, which is well below the 1.6 million needed just to keep up with population growth.

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