What's the outlook for home prices?

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate.com

Twenty-thirteen was a banner year for home prices, which shot up in many areas, making sellers happy and buyers not so much. Housing economists now say prices will continue to rise in 2014, though at a more modest and sustainable pace.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said sales of existing homes increased 20 percent and prices gained 18 percent over the last two years, cumulatively.

Sales are expected to top out at 5.13 million in 2013 and, to use Yun's words, "hold fairly even at about 5.12 million in 2014."