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Robert Trigaux

Saying 'bullish' and 'Florida housing' in same headline feels downright bizarre




Florida enjoyed greater single-family home price appreciation than the majority of nearby states in the Southeast in the past year (November to November).

Wake up and good morning. Florida's home price index rose 7.9 percent in the past year (November 2011 to November 2012), ranking the Sunshine State 10th among states in rising home prices in that period. So says new CoreLogic data out this week. Note in the map above that Florida appreciation topped that of nearby Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina. South Carolina ranked behind Florida nationally at No. 11 with 7.8 percent appreciation, while Virginia rose a flat 6 percent. Those figures include "distressed" sales. Read more here.

So what does this mean? It means Florida home prices overall have stabilized and are again on the rise after suffering a whopping 44.3 percent decline from their peak to current values. It means Florida's appreciating faster than most state housing price and slightly above the national average. It means Florida's housing market -- while in freefall having scared away many folks contemplating relocation here -- is no longer the economic black hole damaging Florida's economic image.

Nationwide, it was the biggest one-year housing gain since May 2006, reports MarketWatch.

Things are far from perfect but a housing market on the rise can cure many ills in time. One cautionary note: With mortgage rates astoundingly low, let's be sure not to get caught up in another rising housing bubble in Florida. Another quick boom-bust in real estate is the last thing Florida needs.

Speaking of housing bubbles, Arizona's home price index soared 20.9 percent in the past year. That would worry me as a potential buyer out there. On the flip side. several states still suffered declines in home prices in the last year, notably Delaware (-4.9 percent), Illinois (-2.2 percent) and Connecticut (-0.5 percent). See how all 50 states ranked here.

There's a burst of strong housing price reports around Florida this week. Check out stories in the Orlando Sentinel, Sarasota Herald-Tribune and this recent Tampa Bay Times story based on December Multiple Listing Service data.

- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times



[Last modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 7:39am]


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