Is Real Estate Acting Bubblicious Again?

Although the housing meltdown is still fresh in the minds of buyers, low mortgage interest rates and inventory levels continue to fuel rising home prices at a pace not seen since the bubble days.Bubbles

The median existing single-family home price increased in 133 out of 152 metropolitan areas in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors. In comparison, only 29 metro areas showed a year-over-year increase in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The national median existing single-family home price, where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less, came in at $178,900 in the final three months of 2012, representing a 10 percent jump from $162,600 a year earlier. This is the strongest year-over-year increase since the fourth quarter of 2005, when the median price increased 13.6 percent. In the third quarter of 2012, home prices grew 8.8 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Home sales are also on the rise…