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THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Most residents of Manhattan live in apartment buildings, big or small. But there are still some town houses left among the towers - if you can afford them. The 88 that sold last year in the areas south of Harlem fetched an average price of $2,016,772. That's up 18 percent from the year before, according to L.B. Kaye Associates, a real estate brokerage.

In the fancy Upper East Side, the average price was $2,853,000.

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Across the nation, median prices for existing single-family homes ranged from $53,500 to $231,200, a survey by the National Association of Realtors states.

The most expensive area was Orange Country, Calif., with the San Francisco Bay area cheaper by a few thousand dollars. The least expensive area was Oklahoma City, followed by Des Moines.