Home sellers will continue to enjoy negotiating power next year, though higher interest rates and slower rent growth eventually will lead to more of a balanced market that favors buyers, according to real estate website Zillow.com.

Home and condominium values across South Florida rose 9 percent in October from a year ago to a median $243,800, Zillow said in a report released Tuesday. Rents for homes, condos and apartments in the tricounty region also were up, rising 4 percent from last year to $1,881.

 

Prices have escalated since 2012, when investors entered the market searching for bargains. More recently, a shortage of homes for sale has kept prices on the upswing, though South Florida buyers are gradually seeing more properties to choose from, Zillow said.

"I think it's fair to say that through 2017, it will stay a sellers' market," said Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Seattle-based Zillow.

As the economy continues to improve, industry observers expect interest rates to rise, which will reduce demand for homes. Meanwhile, strong rent growth in recent years is starting to soften, and that will mean less pressure for renters to buy, analysts say.
 
Across the tricounty region, homes priced $400,000 and below are still in demand and tend to attract bidding wars. In some cases, real estate agents say, sellers don't want to make repairs because they're convinced another buyer will take the home "as is."
 
However, the market isn't as hot for higher-priced properties, leading to price reductions and an increase in days on market, real estate agents say.
 
Source: The Sun Sentinel