A continued recovery in housing and rising home prices should provide a cushion to economic growth this year, offsetting the hampering effects of tax increases and government spending cuts, according to a monthly economic outlook released today by economists at Fannie Mae.

A shortage of homes for sale lead to home price appreciation at the national scale in 2012 and continuing into 2013. Fannie Mae anticipates existing home prices will rise 5.1 percent this year, to a median $186,000, and 3.8 percent in 2014, to $193,000. Prices for new homes are expected to increase 4.1 percent in 2013, to a median $254,00, and 3.5 percent in 2014, to $263,000.

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