HOMES PRICES UP BY DOUBLE DIGITS IN MANY METRO AREAS
The national median home price showed its strongest annual growth in nearly eight years during the third quarter of this year, according to data collected by the National Association of Realtors.

A whopping 144 of the 163 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) tracked by NAR showed gains between the third quarter of this year and the third quarter of last year. In 54 of those MSAs, the increases were in the double digits.

The national median existing single-family home price was $207,300 in the third quarter, up 12.5 percent from $184,300 in the third quarter of last year.

That's the strongest year-over-year increase since the fourth quarter of 2005 when the median home price jumped 13.6 percent.

Condominium and cooperative prices rose 15.1 percent to a median $205,400 in the third quarter.

One reason home prices are rising is that foreclosures and short sales are falling. Short sales are homes sold for less than what the owners owed on their mortgage.

Foreclosures and short-sale homes typically sell at a discount. That can lower the value of nearby homes because appraisers look at all recent sales when they determine a home's current value.

In the third quarter, only 14 percent of home sales were foreclosures or short sales. That's down from 24 percent a year ago.

Across the country, about 2.21 million homeowners had their properties for sale, modestly higher than the third quarter of 2012, when 2.17 million homes were on the market.

That's a 5-month supply of homes for sale, down from a 5.9-month supply in the third quarter of 2012.