NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — Existing-homes sales declined for the third consecutive month while median U.S. home values continue to show strong year-over-year growth, real estate experts say.

"Our forecast call for another 3.8% appreciation over the next year," said Svenja Gudell, senior economist at "I think will see them fall a little bit before they start to rise again."

The recent slowdown was driven in a large part by rising mortgage rates and higher home values with a shortage of inventory in some parts of the country, said Gudell.

The national median home price in the U.S., especially for non-remodeled homes, is priced at around $163,000, according to Zillow's housing market data based on a wide cross-section of data from various markets.

The median existing single-family home price is listed slightly higher by the National Realtors Association at $196,300, based on November sales -- up by 9.4% from a year ago.

A typical first-time buyer purchases a 1,670 square-foot home costing $170,000, according to the Realtors' Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report.

"While the median-income family in many areas will still be well positioned to buy a home in 2014, income is barely budging given growth in consumer prices," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors in a press statement. "Rising prices and higher interest rates have taken a bite out of housing affordability."

Half of all the markets in the U.S. are most likely in the bucket of being cheaper than the national median, Gudell said.

"Chicago is still well priced at $171,000, Miami is extremely affordable and Detroit, of course, has an immense amount of home value and is very cheap right now at $96,000," said the Zillow economist.

Take a look at what you get for you money from Sacramento to Nashville.

Note: Properties were on the market and listed as available at the time of publication in December 2013, unless noted otherwise.

Size: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,749 square feet
Price: $174,500

Sacramento had some of the strongest increases in listing price from a year ago, according to data from the National Realtors Association.

Home value appreciation in Sacramento was up 34% compared to 35% in San Francisco year-over-year.

"It's actually come to such a point that these rates of appreciation are not sustainable anymore -- they just have to slow down," said Gudell.

The Californian city was hit heavily by the 2008 housing bubble and home values in the Central Valley metropolis are slowly gaining some traction.

"Affordability currently is still not a huge issue in Sacramento whereas it is in San Francisco," Gudell said.

Decatur, Ill.
Size: 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2,100 square feet
Price: $163,900

Decatur, Ill., the "Soybean Capital of the World," is one of Illinois's largest cities with a metropolitan area population of 114,749 -- it's also one of the most affordable cities in the U.S.