Thursday, April 25, 2013

Zillow: S. Florida home values jump 12 percent in first quarter

South Florida home values rose 12 percent in the first quarter of 2013, but prices likely won’t keep appreciating at that pace, says.

The real estate website’s Home Value Index for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties was $159,000, compared with $141,800 in the first quarter of 2012.

The South Florida index peaked at $310,500 in April 2006.

Zillow’s report reflects the values of all homes in an area, not just those that sold in a given month.

Values have steadily increased across the region over the past year following a prolonged housing bust. But the Seattle-based website forecasts price gains here to slow to 5 percent through early 2014.

Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said recent spikes aren’t sustainable. He expects values nationwide to soften when mortgage rates increase and more owners list their properties for sale.

“But pockets of very rapid appreciation will remain, a troubling sign of volatility and a potential future headache as affordability is compromised and homes begin to look much more expensive to average buyers,” Humphries said in a statement.

Declining inventory has been a source of frustration for many South Florida buyers. “We’d like to see the supply increase because the demand is there,” said Summer Greene, a general manager for Better Homes & Gardens in Fort Lauderdale.
Local markets with some of the largest jumps in home values: Fort Lauderdale (17 percent), Coral Springs (13 percent) and Boca Raton (12 percent), according to Zillow.
Among the 30 biggest metro areas tracked by Zillow, Phoenix had the highest annual increase at 24 percent.
On Monday, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said Broward County’s median price for existing homes sold in March was $242,500, a 26 percent increase from a year earlier. In Palm Beach County, the median was $249,894, up 28 percent from a year earlier, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches.

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