According to a recent article by Paul Owers in the Sun-Sentinal, the South Florida's housing market is steadily improving and closing in on a benchmark stable range.

A score of at least 80 is favorable. A perfect score is 100.

South Florida's gains are mostly the result of on-time mortgage payments and a brighter employment forecast, according to Freddie Mac.

While the index still considers the South Florida market weak, industry observers say the region has shown significant progress in the past two years. Robust demand from foreign buyers and a lack of inventory helped drive up prices, though the increases are starting to level off.

The last time the tri-county region's index score hit 80 was August 2008, when the market was heading down amid the housing collapse.

Meanwhile, the rental market also has soared in recent years. In fact, consistent rent growth turned Broward into one of the nation's least affordable rental markets, according to RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine Calif.

Broward residents making the median household income of $50,432 would need to spend 43 percent of their monthly gross salaries on fair market rent, RealtyTrac said. Only Miami-Dade County (46 percent), Kings County, N.Y. (47), Philadelphia (47), Baltimore (50) and the Bronx, N.Y. (53) were more expensive for renters.

Palm Beach County residents making the median household income of $52,152 have to devote 37 percent of their pay to fair market rent, RealtyTrac said. Financial counselors say families should spend no more than 28 to 30 percent of their gross pay on housing costs.

For more information on buying, selling or renting property in South Florida, please call Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today!