Posted by on July 24, 2016

Home prices rise 7 percent in June across Broward County

Home prices continue to climb throughout South Florida, pushed higher by a stable economy and a shortage of listings.

The median price for existing, single-family homes in Broward County in June was $325,000, a 7 percent increase from a year ago, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said Thursday.

Palm Beach County‘s median price was $320,000, up 6 percent from June 2015, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches.

In Miami-Dade, the median rose 13 percent to $315,000, the Miami Association of Realtors said.

Prices have consistently increased since 2012, but the pace of growth is slowing.

“If you’re a seller, it’s overwhelmingly your market,” said Jerry Kopensky, a South Florida real estate agent for Century 21 City Real Estate Corp. in Coral Springs.

Home sales were mixed last month, with Broward seeing 1,805 homes change hands, a 5 percent increase from a year ago.

Palm Beach County sales fell 3 percent to 1,822, the fifth consecutive decline from the same month in the prior year. Sales in Miami-Dade dropped 6 percent.

Despite a 9 percent increase in single-family listings last month in Palm Beach County, buyers across South Florida are limited by a lack of homes for sale, particularly in the $250,000 to $500,000 price range, agents say. That’s putting sellers in control and helping drive up prices.

Buyers at least have low interest rates on their side.

The Florida Realtors cited Freddie Mac figures showing the interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.57 percent in June, down sharply from 3.98 percent in June 2015.

Derek Fertig, branch manager for Primary Residential Mortgage in Fort Lauderdale, said the low rates give buyers more purchasing power, even as prices rise.

“If rates are out of touch, then home prices become unaffordable,” he said.

Meanwhile, condominium buyers also are having to pay more. The median condo price in Broward for June was $149,250, up 10 percent from a year ago; while Palm Beach County‘s median hit $161,500, a 9 percent increase from June 2015. The Miami-Dade median was $220,000, a 7 percent jump.

During the housing bust, median condo prices in Palm Beach and Broward counties fell below $100,000.

“There are not many $100,000 condos anymore,” said Douglas Rill, a real estate agent at Century 21 America’s Choice in West Palm Beach. “It’s a shame. The demand for condo living is really high.”

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

Eli Beracha, professor of real estate investment at Florida International University, said the recent slowdown in price increases throughout the tricounty area is an indication that the housing market isn’t becoming overheated.

He said the low levels of homes for sale and strict financing requirements by lenders have eased fears of a housing bubble.

“With an overall healthy economy, I’m not too concerned,” he said., 561-243-6529 or Twitter @paulowers

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