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Index: South Florida Housing Bottom Has Arrived; Prices to Surge in 2012

Thu Apr 26, 2012 on Blog & Florida Real Estate

Weston Title Says Home Prices Will Rise in South Florida in 2012The housing market pendulum in South Florida is finally starting to swing in the other direction.

Realtors, buyers and sellers have long been looking for looking for home prices, which have been declining steadily since 2007,  to bottom out and analysts at a major housing index say that time has arrived!

Real estate database Zillow reports South Florida home values saw a year-over-year rise of 1.1 percent to $141,300 . Among the 30 largest major metropolitan markets, only Phoenix saw a greater spike in home prices.

Nationwide, home values rose .5 percent from February to March, the largest monthly increase since May 2006, when prices peaked.

More importantly, their economists are predicting a robust rise in home values in 2012 in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area.

“For people who have been waiting to time their home purchase close to market bottom, it’s time to start shopping,” Dr. Stan Humphries says.

Humphries tells the Miami Herald that South Florida’s low housing prices have led to a surge in interest from foreign buyers, investors, retirees and those looking to buy a 2nd home, which is why prices are expected to climb steadily in the coming year.

Zillow says 19 of the 30 markets they track have hit their bottom or will in the coming year, including Orlando and Tampa. There’s been enough small incremental increases that their analysts are confident the worst is behind us.

“The last two years we’ve seen the rate of decline slow and now we’re seeing this uptick for the first time, where instead of sloping down, the curve is sloping up,” Ziilow’s Svenja Gudell told the Palm Beach Post.

That curve will quickly become a peak in South Florida, with home values expected to surge 5.6 percent in 2012, according to Zillow’s  Home Values Forecast.

“It is undeniable that we are seeing sparks of life in the housing market,” Humpries adds.

However many markets on Zillow’s index still saw a drop in home values during the last year, and their analysts say it will take the US won’t hit bottom nationwide until the end of 2012.