South Florida home prices continued to gallop ahead, showing a nearly 11 percent jump in February from the year before, the 14th consecutive month of increases, a leading index reported Tuesday.

However, the monthly increase in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties slowed to 0.3 percent in February; it had been at 0.8 percent in January, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index.

Still, South Florida was among half the 20 metro areas that showed double-digit increases in home prices over the last year with a 10.8 percent jump, the index found. The Phoenix area had the sharpest jump -- 23 percent rally in a year.

Overall, the S&P/Case-Shiller index continued to show widespread improvement across the country.

Photos: Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale

"Home prices continue to show solid increases across all 20 cities," said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices in a statement. "Despite some recent mixed economic reports for March, housing continues to be one of the brighter spots in
the economy."

Case-Shiller tracks prices of the same house over time. Some analysts say that's a better measure of the market than median prices of homes sold in a given month. But the index does not include prices for condos and trails Realtor board data by a month.

Last week, Broward County’s median price for existing homes in March was $242,500, a 26 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors. In Palm Beach County, the median price last month hit $249,894, 28 percent higher than a year ago, the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches reported.

dgehrke@tribune or Twitter @donnagehrke