Palm Beach County’s housing market turned in some of the lowest price appreciation in the nation over the past year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said Tuesday.

Houses here appreciated by 1.8 percent from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. That ranked 93rd on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s list of 100 U.S. metro areas.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Its index is based on data generated by home loans backed by the two lenders.

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Palm Beach County’s tepid appreciation contradicts other trends in the housing market. The county’s unemployment rate stood at a rock-bottom 3 percent in October and reached a record low of 2.9 percent earlier this year.

What’s more, Realtors and business boosters have been touting Florida’s lack of an income tax as an appealing feature for Americans looking to relocate from high-tax states. And the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage cost just 3.66 percent as of Thursday, Freddie Mac said.

In a separate report released last week, Realtors said the median price of houses sold in Palm Beach County in October rose 3.3 percent from October 2018.

The median price of Palm Beach County condos and townhouses sold by Realtors fell 7 percent from a year earlier.

Palm Beach County occupies the bottom of the list with a mixed roster of cities. Some, like Camden, New Jersey, and Hartford, Connecticut, long have seen soft appreciation. San Jose and Seattle also posted low appreciation, but that’s because their prices spiked so strongly during the tech boom that values have taken a breather.

Just across the county line, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market posted 6.8 percent appreciation that ranked 13th nationally.

Palm Beach County home prices remain well below their record highs. In November 2005, the median house price hit an all-time high of $421,500.


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