Case-Shiller report: Strong economy boosts home prices

Paul Owers – Contact Reporter
Sun Sentinel:

Home prices rose in July across South Florida and 19 other major metro areas nationwide as economic growth continues to drive the housing market, a new report shows.

Prices in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties jumped 7 percent in July from a year earlier, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index released Tuesday.

Portland, Ore., led with a 12.4 percent increase, while Seattle was second at 11.2 percent. Nationally, July prices increased at 5.1 percent.

Even an expected interest rate increase in December won’t be enough to slow housing, David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee, said in a statement.

South Florida home prices started to rebound in 2012, though the pace has slowed since then. Prices remain about 23 percent below their peak set in December 2006, according to the Case-Shiller data.

The index is a respected barometer of home prices nationwide. It tracks the price of the same house over time, while local Realtor boards release a countywide median price. However, Case-Shiller trails the Realtor boards by one month.

Realtor figures for August, released last week, showed that single-family median prices in all three counties rose from the same period a year earlier. The median in Palm Beach County was $315,000, while Broward was at $325,000. Miami-Dade’s median was $300,000.

The median means half the homes sold for more and half for less.

Eli Beracha, a professor of real estate investment at Florida International University, said a low supply of single-family homes will keep values rising in the near term.

“The low- to mid-range, single-family market is very healthy,” he said. “It’s not a bad time to buy right now.”

Powers@Sun-Sentinel.com, 561-243-6529 or Twitter @paulowers

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