South Florida home prices rise, but sales soften

South Florida home prices rose in November, though sales slowed as buyers regained more control over the recovering market.

Broward County’s median price for existing single-family homes last month was $270,000,  up 29 percent from a year ago, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors said Thursday. Despite the large annual increase, the median has remained unchanged for three consecutive months.

Palm Beach County’s median of $252,000 was 16 percent higher than a year ago, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches. But it too has softened, hovering close to $250,000 since July.

Meanwhile, the once-blistering sales pace also has cooled. Broward had 1,076 homes trade hands last month, off 11 percent from a year ago. Palm Beach County had 1,110 sales in November, up just 1 percent from November 2012.


PHOTOS: Perfecto Gastrobar's launches in Miami's Brickell district

Investors have fueled demand since the market hit bottom early last year, but many have pulled back as prices have increased, real estate agents and analysts say. In both counties, cash sales declined in November from a year earlier.

Industry observers say the market was destined to lose some of its steam. They expect prices to continue rising next year, but at a much slower rate.

Terry Story, an agent in Broward and Palm Beach counties, said buyers are taking more time to consider their options and not rushing to bid on overpriced properties.

“The buyers are saying, ‘Nah, nah, nah,’” Story said. “They’re waiting for sellers to reduce their prices and they’re waiting for more properties to come on the market.”