Total existing-home sales surged 15.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 and prices were up 0.2 percent year-over-year, according to The National Association of Realtors. Sales rose to an annual rate of 4.80 million in the fourth quarter, from 4.16 million in the third quarter, while home prices strengthened in 78 of 152 metropolitan statistical areas. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said home sales clearly recovered in the latter part of 2010, which helps to absorb excess inventory and relieve pressure on prices. The national median single-family existing-home price was $170,600, up from $170,300 in the fourth quarter of 2009. More here and here.