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South Florida housing prices have hit bottom, Zillow analysts declare


There are three little words South Floridians have longed to hear since the housing slide began: "We've hit bottom."


Analysts at the online real estate database Zillow are declaring just that for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties in a report to be released today that shows tri-county home prices bottomed out in the latter part of 2011.


Although the first quarter Zillow Home Value Index was down 2.3 percent in Palm Beach County on a year-over-year measure to $140,600, small increases in monthly and quarterly measures were enough for senior Zillow economist Svenja Gudell to predict an end to free-falling prices.


"The last two years we've seen the rate of decline slow and now we're seeing this uptick for the first time, where instead of sloping down, the curve is sloping up," Gudell said.


Of the 30 largest metropolitan areas measured by the Seattle-based Zillow, 14 were declared to have hit bottom either at the end of 2011 or between January and March of this year, including Orlando and Tampa.


The optimism was echoed by Florida International University real estate economist Ken Johnson, who began predicting a bottom in November when prices hit 2002 levels.

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