An asset bubble can burst, or it can develop a slow leak, and float more or less gradually back to normal levels. The National Association of Realtors'® (NAR's) quarterly report on existing homes and metro home sales seems to indicate that the housing market, where skyrocketing prices were a concern not that long ago, is following the latter pattern. Not only are sales slowing, but inventories are growing, and appreciation appears to be gradually decelerating. The NAR said the median price of a single-family home sold in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $257,600, a 4.0 percent increase from the median of $247,800 a year earlier. The year-over-year gain in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 5.3 percent.