An index measuring South Florida home prices rose 13.5 percent in August from a year ago – another promising sign for the region’s improved housing market.
The annual increase in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties was virtually unchanged from July, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index. The fast price appreciation occurring in recent months has slowed, officials said.
Despite rising prices over the past year and a half, values in the tri-county region are off about 39 percent from the 2006 peak, according to the index.
South Florida homebuyers stormed back into the housing market in 2012, convinced that prices had hit bottom. Investors helped drive up prices so swiftly that some analysts worried about another bubble.
But investors are starting to retreat because the higher prices are eating into their profits. And more homeowners are testing the market, giving buyers more choices and alleviating intense competition that had led to the run-up in prices.
“It’s not a frenzy – the market has more of a steady beat to it,” said Beverly Rothstein, an agent in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Prices increased in August across all 20 metro areas nationwide tracked by Case-Shiller. Las Vegas led the country with a 29.2 percent annual increase, while San Francisco was second at 25.4 percent.
The Case-Shiller index, considered a leading measure of U.S. home prices, does not include prices for condominiums and lags local Realtor board data by a month.
Last week, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said the median price in August for existing homes in Broward County was $270,000, a 32 percent increase from a year ago. In Palm Beach County, the median last month was $250,000, up 11 percent from a year earlier, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun