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Home sellers should expect modest price gains this year says BNP's Coronado

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Coronado: 2014 U.S. economy will be okay but don't expect much

Home prices and sales cooled off at the end of 2013. 

Home prices were up a seasonally-adjusted 0.9% in November according to The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, slightly more than expected. Prices in the nation's largest metros are up 13.7% year-over-year, the biggest gain since February 2006.

Related: 2014 housing outlook: Still a seller's market but better for buyers than 2013

New home sales fell by 7% for December 2013, possibly due to unusually brisk weather (it was the coldest December in four years). Existing home sales, however, rose by 1% for the first time in five months.

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So what does this data mean?

Related: How the Job Market is Killing Housing

“This is a lagging indicator,” says Julia Coronado, North American chief economist at BNP Paribas. “Housing had a great run over the last 12 to 18 months, but we’ve seen some of the more recent data on new and existing home sales slow down quite a bit. We’re not expecting quite a disaster in housing but that momentum we saw last year is probably going to cool off a little bit and we’re looking for a much more modest gain in price appreciation in 2014.”

Related: Is the Housing Recovery Still On Track?

According to Coronado, the U.S. economy in 2014 will be just "okay...we can expect a decent year but it won't beat the wave of optimism we saw growing at the end of 2013."

Coronado expects 2013 Q4 GDP to be around 3% and 2014 Q1 GDP to be 2.5%.

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