ECONOMIC TIME MACHINE

Case-Shiller housing numbers hit another post-boom record this spring

 

The rebound of real estate in South Florida gained a little more steam this spring.

Case-Shiller reported Tuesday that housing prices jumped 12 percent from a year ago in South Florida, the strongest gain since July 2006 when the real estate bubble had just begun to pop. The April numbers for the leading real estate index in the country comes amid concern that housing may be heating up too quickly again, with investor dollars at the center of this buying spree, too.

Whatever the cause, the rising values come as welcome news to homeowners caught in the bust, though prices remain well off past peaks. The April Case-Shiller reading put values at 43 percent below the past record in South Florida, set in May 2006. But that’s still far better than the 51 percent drop recorded in the fall of 2011, the official bottom of the housing crash.

Once a grim reminder of the collapsing real estate market, the Case-Shiller index has offered consistent good news on the real estate front for those hoping to see prices continue to rise. The April report marked the fifth consecutive monthly gain in the index, after a brief two-month dip at the end of 2012. Before that, the South Florida index had gone up for nine straight months — the best streak since 82 straight months of gains ended in May 2006, when the local Case-Shiller index hit a record of 279. April’s reading was 160.

The Case-Shiller index compares prices of current sales to past sales of the same residential property, making it a more accurate reading of values than the monthly Realtor reports, which simply compare all sales to the prior year’s tally.

Nationally, Case-Shiller has told a similar story, with the 20 markets it covers showing an average yearly gain of 12 percent, too.

The Miami Herald’s Economic Time Machine seeks to give the long view on the latest financial numbers for South Florida. Visit miamiherald.com/economic-time-machine for analysis of the numbers that drive the local economy. Our ETM index tracks more than 40 local indicators to measure where the economy has “landed” post-bust when compared to earlier economic conditions. The latest reading: July 2003.

Read more The Economic Time Machine stories from the Miami Herald

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