Housing Index Reports Price Growth in South Florida

Prices of homes in South Florida continue to increase at a faster pace than the national average but are still approximately 25% below the peak back in December of 2006. Specifically, prices in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties increased 6.4% in April compared to last year per data from the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Comparatively, the 20 metro areas studied showed prices rising 5.4% during the same time frame with the tricounty region outpacing the rest of the country.

“The home price increases reflect the low unemployment rate, low mortgage interest rates and consumers’ generally positive outlook,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P, said in a statement. Blitzer stated that political uncertainty could have a slight effect on the housing market as it can distract homebuyers in the coming months.

Meanwhile seven metro areas across the United States have set new highs for prices including Denver, Portland, Dallas, San Francisco, Charlotte, Boston and Seattle. While South Florida still has room to grow, affordability is a concern much like these other areas.

Rising costs of entry level homes is making it challenging for young professionals and families to enter the market. Condos and townhomes are still viable options, yet single families are getting more difficult to afford.

Portland Oregon had the highest annual gain in April for the 20 areas studied with a 12.3% increase. Seattle came in at 10.7% and Denver at 9.5% as runner up.

According to analysts, the Case-Shiller index is one of the best barometers for reliability of forecasting the market as it tracks prices of the same homes over time. Alternatively, Realtor boards will share a median price for homes sold in a specific month, but Case-Shiller follows the Realtor data by a month.

Despite threats of challenging affordability and political uncertainty, reports from economists are saying that home prices overall will not likely dip in the next couple of years.