SoFla home prices saw country’s sixth-highest growth in December

An aerial view of the Venetian Islands (Credit: Marc Averette)
An aerial view of the Venetian Islands (Credit: Marc Averette)

The South Florida residential market is battling global economic headwinds, but that isn’t stopping housing prices in the region from steadily appreciating.

South Florida home prices grew by 8.1 percent year-over-year in November, according to a new report from S&P/Case-Shiller.

That means the tri-county area saw faster price growth than almost all of the U.S. Ahead of South Florida was Portland, Oregon with 11.1 percent; San Francisco, California with 11 percent; Denver, Colorado with 10.9 percent; Seattle, Washington with 9.7 percent; and Dallas, Texas with 9.4 percent.

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“The consumer portion of the economy is doing well; like housing, automobile sales were quite strong last year,” David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, wrote in the report. ” … Other parts of the economy are not faring as well. Businesses in the oil and energy sectors are suffering from the 75% drop in oil prices in the last 18 months. Moreover, the strong U.S. dollar is slowing exports. Housing is not large enough to offset all of these weak spots.”

The national housing market saw similar gains during December: prices grew by 5.3 percent year-over-year, accelerating slightly from the 5.1 percent jump in October.

Although housing costs in South Florida have risen tremendously since the downturn, the region’s residential market is facing a cloudy horizon. The strong U.S. dollar and a new federal measure to reveal secret buyers are discouraging foreign investment, and sales volume in Miami — South Florida’s biggest residential hot spot — dropped dramatically at the end of 2015. — Sean Stewart-Muniz