Home prices increased across South Florida in June and are inching ever closer to the peaks achieved before the market meltdown a decade ago. Still, analysts are not forecasting another historic collapse. They say the robust market is due for a dip and predict prices will level out rather than plummet as they did during the housing bust of 2006-2011. “Am I concerned? Yes,” said Ken Johnson, an economist and professor at Florida Atlantic University. “Is there evidence of a four-alarm fire? No. “Most of the economic indicators support today’s prices. I just don’t see us waking up one day like we did in 2008 or 2009 and realizing we’re in a free fall.” Palm Beach County’s median price for existing, single-family homes last month was $345,000, up 8 percent from a year earlier, the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches said Monday.
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Broward’s median hit $355,000, 9 percent higher than June 2016, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors. In Miami-Dade County, the median last month was $335,000, a 6 percent bump, the Miami Association of Realtors said. The median means half the homes sold for more and half for less. Prices in all three counties have been on a steady climb since the market began to recover in 2012. Palm Beach County is 18 percent below its peak of $421,500, while Broward is only 9 percent off its top price of $391,100. Both counties reached their pinnacles in November 2005. Miami-Dade is 16 percent below its apex of $401,100 in May 2007. Sales, meanwhile, were mixed last month. Palm Beach County had 1,855 closings, up 2 percent from a year earlier, while Miami-Dade sales were 4 percent higher than a year ago. But Broward’s 1,692 sales fell 6 percent from June 2016. It was the third consecutive month of declining sales in Broward. “Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession,” Yun added. “Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.” The lack of homes for sale nationwide is “bordering on an inventory crisis at this point,” Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, said in a statement. “There are about as many homes for sale now as there were in 1994, except there are about 63 million more people in this country now than there were then,” Gudell said. Statewide, the median price for existing homes in June was $245,000, a 9 percent increase from a year ago, according to the Florida Realtors. In South Florida’s existing condominium sector, prices rose 7 percent in June across all three counties. Median prices were $172,500 in Palm Beach County, $160,000 in Broward and $235,000 in Miami-Dade. Danielle DiLenge, an agent for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Florida First in Fort Lauderdale, said she didn’t think the market was particularly hot at the beginning of the year. But that changed during the spring and summer, she said. DiLenge had two closings Friday, two more on Monday and another later this week. “Everything is moving,” she said. “If it is priced right, it is selling.”