Home prices have increased across South Florida for 12 consecutive months, raising hopes that the region's housing market has recovered from a six-year downturn.
An index measuring home prices in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties rose 10.6 percent in December from a year earlier. That capped a full calendar year of increases and represented the biggest jump in the three counties since August 2006.
The outlook also is brightening across the country. Of the 20 metro areas tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, only New York posted a decline. Phoenix led the nation with a 23 percent gain.
Case-Shiller tracks prices of the same house over time. Some analysts say that's a better measure of the market than median prices of homes sold in a given month.
"Home prices ended 2012 with solid gains," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement Tuesday. "Housing and residential construction led the economy in the 2012 fourth quarter."