Many areas hit the hardest by the recession are now seeing vast improvements in their housing markets with moderate new home sales. Jacksonville, FL is a prime example. Florida has experienced wide-spread recovery overall, but Jacksonville ranked among the top five on a list of healthiest housing markets compiled by CNBC. It ranked close to Las Vegas, which appeared at number four despite being the hardest hit during the housing crash with the highest foreclosure rate in the United States.
Jacksonville Favors the Seller This Year
Statistics released for April by the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors predicted a low-inventory market that would favor the seller. This comes after being described as a balanced market by NEFAR communications director Melanie Green. Balance indicates a market where there are enough homes available to supply five to six months of the average number of sales that are pending over the previous year. 2017 is shaping up to be a good time to sell new homes.
Jacksonville and other parts of Northeast Florida saw a 7.7% increase in home prices, taking the average from $225,308 in April 2016 to $242,692 in April of this year. Median sale prices also grew by 8.3%, going from $181,000 to $195,990 in the same time period.
New home listings went down .9% for a total of 3,368 residential properties listed in April. Closed sales also went down by 7.2%, totaling 2,294 homes sold. The same month saw a 20.5% decrease from 2016, with 8,348 homes on the market.
Hurricane Irma & the Jacksonville Housing Market
Hurricane Irma dealt a devastating blow to Florida. This major natural disaster covered 650 miles across nine U.S. states. It traveled through the Caribbean Island and right into the heart of the The Sunshine State. Initial reports estimated that 25% of the homes in Florida were destroyed and 65% suffered major damage. Millions were evacuated only to return to properties that were severely damaged and without power. It was a massive event for Jacksonville, which was swallowed by a record storm surge and flooding.
The housing market felt the effects of Irma immediately, which was paused for approximately two weeks after the hurricane. Closings had to be rescheduled, showings were canceled, and there was an overall slow down on new homes entering the market. This caused a short supply to grow shorter.
The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors reported that sales went down despite average sale prices going up. Buyers are still interested in properties that are in good condition. The delays sometimes worked in their favor because lenders may choose to send an appraiser to a property a second time to re-certify it after the storm. Despite being hammered by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, Jacksonville has rebounded.
The 2016 Presidential Election & the Housing Market
The 2016 U.S. presidential election was not expected to have a direct impact on the housing market as we moved into 2017. An interest rate increase occurred immediately after the election that caused predictions to go up. The change could cause problems for first-time home buyers who sought financing. Higher rates may price some newcomers out of the market this year. Overall trends predict that boomers and millennials will be a dominating demographic.
Jacksonville’s Housing Market Continues to Grow
The Top Single-Family Housing Markets Report for Spring created by online real estate marketplace Ten-X placed Jacksonville fifth out of the 50 largest housing markets in the U.S. When it comes to housing market investments this year, Jacksonville ranked second in the country and first in Florida based on a list published by Forbes.
Expansion has slowed due to job losses earlier in the year. Education and healthcare saw a 5% increase in the area while financial services continue to thrive. Jacksonville reported 3.8% job growth in 2016, which created opportunities for real estate investments.
The average price per square foot went from under $99 last year to $108. Median monthly rental rates grew from under $1,150 last year to $1,250 as of August 2017. 64% of Jacksonville residents are homeowners with a median household income of $44,215.
Florida saw an influx of people which increased the number of home searches from out-of-towners coming in rather than locals moving out. Many people are coming to the region with few leaving. Quality schools and economic stability make Jacksonville an attractive locale for potential home buyers.