Palm Beach County’s median price hit $169,000 in December, a 35 percent annual increase that led the nation, according to a recent report from California brokerage ZipRealty.
Broward County’s median price last month was $127,000, a 21 percent jump that ranked ninth nationwide. Miami-Dade County’s 20 percent increase was tied for 10th with Sacramento.
Prices also are rising quickly in Phoenix, San Francisco and Las Vegas, the ZipRealty data show.
South Florida homes lost about half their value in the housing crisis, but the market bounced back in a big way in 2012.
Strong demand by investors, a shortage of homes for sale and rising rental rates are contributing to the recovery, real estate brokers say.
Joseph Pucillo, a vice president for ZipRealty, said distressed homes are drawing investor interest partly because lenders are paying owners to complete short sales and leave the properties in good condition.
“Investors are paying $250,000 for homes that would have cost $400,000 a few years ago,” Pucillo said. “It’s valued very attractively right now. It just makes sense to go there.”
Top turnaround markets
Area Dec 2011 median price; Dec. 2012 median price: Percent change
Palm Beach County $125,000; $169,000; 35 percent
San Francisco-East Bay $275,000; $361,000; 31 percent
Phoenix $120,000; $157,000; 31 percent
San Francisco $592,250; $768,000; 30 percent
Silicon Valley $430,000; $548,500; 28 percent
Las Vegas $109,000; $136,350; 25 percent
Tucson $119,950; $148,689; 24 percent
San. Gabriel Valley, Calif. $203,000; $249,900; 23 percent
San Diego $305,000; $371,000; 22 percent
Broward County $105,000; $127,000; 21 percent
Miami-Dade County $138,000; $165,000; 20 percent
Sacramento $158,225; $190,000; 20 percent