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Homes: Hot markets get hotter
Home prices rallied in the first quarter; record number of areas had growth of more than 10%.
May 26, 2005: 1:00 PM EDT
By Les Christie, CNN/Money staff writer
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The top 10
Home price appreciation from the first quarter 2004 through the first quarter 2005.
Metro AreaPrice gain
Bradenton, FL 45.6%
Sarasota, FL36%
W. Palm Beach/Boca Raton/Delray Beach, FL35.9%
Riverside/San Bernardino, CA32.6%
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood/Pompano Beach, FL 31.8%
Las Vegas, NV29.4%
Melbourne/Titusville/Palm Bay, FL29.3%
Orlando, FL28.7%
Miami/Hialeah, FL28.4%
Ocala, FL27%
Source:National Association of Realtors
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - U.S. residential real estate markets lost no steam in the first quarter of 2005, according to statistics released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

The NAR's quarterly report covers 136 metro areas (see how they all rank). A record 66 of these have experienced double-digit jumps in home prices over the past year.

The previous record was 62 in the last quarter of 2004. Only six areas showed a fall in prices and those declines were fairly modest.

The median price of a single-family American home hit $188,800 at the end of the first quarter, a rise of 9.7 percent compared with a year ago.

The NAR, the nation's biggest real estate agent group, pointed to tight inventories as a major factor in the continued strong growth.

"We simply don't have enough homes on the market to meet demand," said David Lereah, the NAR's chief economist, in a statement. "We think the supply situation may improve next year when interest rates are expected to be higher that should result in a lessening of demand and cooler price appreciation."

Florida heat

Three Florida metropolitan areas led the charge; home prices in Bradenton jumped 45.6 percent from a year earlier to $275,100. Sarasota was up 36 percent to $326,300 and the West Palm-Boca Raton area rose 35.9 percent to $362,800.

Beaumont, Tex. led the list of six declining metro areas with a loss of 6.5 percent to $90,000. Other losers included Canton, Ohio (down 4.5 percent to $103,400), Syracuse, N.Y. (down 2.6 percent to $92,600), and Waterloo-Cedar Falls Iowa (down 2.6 percent to $86,500).

Prices ranged from a low of $82,400 in the Youngstown-Warren area in Ohio, to more than eight times that in the San Francisco Bay area where the median price was $689,200. Anaheim-Santa Ana (Orange County, Calif.) was the second most expensive metro area at $656,900 and San Diego was third at $584,100.

Regionally, the West showed the fastest growth at 16.9 percent. In the Northeast, prices rose 14.0 percent. The Midwest had increases of 7.8 percent and the South had a 6.6 percent price rise.

The median house price was highest in the West, at $282,900, and lowest in the Midwest at $148,800.

Separately, U.S. antitrust regulators are preparing to sue the National Association of Realtors over policies they believe will illegally restrict commission discounting and harm online competitors, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing lawyers close to the case. See more.

See the latest stats on 136 markets.

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Real estate market cooled in Britain. Is the United States next? Click here.

Are lenders too liberal? For the story, click here.

Ultimate home guide 2005: Buying and selling essentials; real estate calculators.

Money 101: Buying a home  Top of page

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