Most metropolitan areas in the third quarter experienced robust year-over-year price gains, with the national median price posting the strongest annual growth in almost eight years, according to the latest National Association of Realtors report.

The median existing single-family home price climbed in 88% of measured markets, with 144 out of 163 metropolitan statistical areas experiencing gains based on closings in the third quarter compared to last year.

Meanwhile, 54 areas, 33%, had double-digit increases, while 19 had price declines.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said market momentum is changing. “Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of housing affordability,” he said. “However, we have the ongoing situation of more buyers than sellers in the market, so lower sales will help to take the pressure off home price growth and allow them to rise slowly at a single-digit growth rate in 2014.”