A new record for U.S. home prices, at least by one measure

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

South Florida home prices are coming back strong, but they remain well below boomtime levels, according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller index.

As of September, home prices in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties posted a 6.7 percent gain over the past year. South Florida values remain 23 percent below their 2006 peak, however.

In one bit of hopeful news, the S&P/Case-Shiller index said Tuesday that, by one of its measures of national home values, prices reached a new record in September, eclipsing the previous high set in 2007. On further review, says Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin, the new record isn’t especially exciting.

“Crossing this threshold is largely symbolic,” he said. “After controlling for inflation, home prices in the U.S. are still about 20 percent below the peak.”

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