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88% of U.S. Cities See Housing Price Gains

As the housing recovery broadened in the fourth quarter of 2012, the National Association of REALTORS® reports that prices for single-family homes rose in nearly 88 percent of U.S. cities..

According to the report, the median sales price rose on an annual basis in 133 of 152 metro areas tracked. In the July-through-September period, by comparison, just 120 areas had registered gains..

Researchers cite low interest rates coupled with an improving job market as the main reasons for the higher home prices.  Those two factors combined have fueled demand for a tightening supply of listings..

According to NAR, the national median price for an existing single-family home was $178,900 in the last three months of 2012 — a 10 percent increase from the fourth quarter a year prior and the biggest gain since 2005..

Here's a look at the top-performing metro areas:.

  • Phoenix: Prices soared 34 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011
  • Detroit: Prices rose 31 percent
  • San Francisco: Prices rose 28 percent
  • Cape Coral, Fla.: Prices rose 26 percent

The Kingston, N.Y., area had the biggest decline in the NAR report — down 7.9 percent in the quarter — followed by Kankakee, Ill., with an 7 percent drop..

Source: "Home Prices Increase in Most Metro Areas" Fort Worth Star-Telegram (02/12/13) .