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Home prices increase in fourth quarter

Seventy-eight of 152 major metropolitan areas saw home price increases in last quarter of 2010, according to survey.

Seventy-eight of 152 major metropolitan areas saw home price increases in last quarter of 2010, according to survey.

According to the National Association of Realtors, total existing-home sales increased 15.4 percent compared to third quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.80 million in the fourth quarter.

Further, according to NAR, 78 of 152 major metropolitan markets surveyed saw home price increases, and 10 of the markets increased by double-digits.

In the fourth quarter, the national median existing single-family price for a home was 170,600.

Heartened by the findings, NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun said, "An improving housing market and job growth will go hand in hand. The housing recovery will mean faster job growth."

With home prices increasing, it would seem to indicate that less people can afford to buy a home. And while NAR's housing affordability index shows that, indeed, the rate dipped slightly in December compared to November, year-over-year, affordability remains high.