Home Price Jump Doesn’t Solve All Issues

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Sales are increasing but hurdles still exist-Stefan


South Florida Home Prices Jump 13.7 in July

By Paul Owers, Sun Sentinel5:00 p.m. EDT, September 24, 2013

South Florida home prices rose 13.7 percent in July compared with a year earlier, although the pace slowed from the previous month, according to a national housing report released Tuesday.

Prices for single-family homes in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties have increased for 19 consecutive months, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index shows.

Still, the June index rose 14.8 percent in South Florida. Other areas nationwide also saw lower annual gains, “suggesting that the rate of increase may have peaked,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee, said in a statement.

Analysts say rapid price appreciation is unsustainable and that slower growth would help the market’s recovery in the long term.

The Case-Shiller index, considered a leading measure of U.S. home prices, does not include prices for condominiums and lags local Realtor board data by a month.

Last week, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said the median price in August for existing homes in Broward County was $270,500, a 26 percent increase from a year ago. In Palm Beach County, the median last month was $250,000, up 16 percent from a year earlier, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches.

A shortage of homes for sale has helped drive South Florida prices higher over the past year.

Photos: Celebrity homes

Judy Trudel, a real estate agent who sells in both counties, said recent price increases have prompted lenders to counter short sale offers at higher than appraised values. In short sales, homes are sold for less than what the sellers owe on the property, if the lender agrees to accept the shortfall.

In recent years, banks were more likely to agree to short sale offers if they were anywhere close to market value, Trudel said. Now, some of her clients are leery of even bidding on short sales.

“It’s still a very frustrating market,” she said.

[email protected], 561-243-6529 or Twitter @paulowers

Copyright © 2013, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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