Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jacksonville Report

Jacksonville, FL – Traffic Slips on Employment
Concerns, But First Time Buyers Are Active.

(5,135 single-family permits in 2008, 18th largest market in the country)

Traffic off slightly, but potentially a seasonal issue. Buyer traffic worsened in August, with traffic falling below the agents’ expectations for this time of year, with our traffic index dropping to 30 from 54 in July (any reading below 50 suggests traffic below agents’ expectations). Agents who saw weaker-than-expected traffic noted buyer concerns about the economy and trouble with lending. For those seeing better traffic levels, there was consistent mention of the affordability resulting from the low prices and mortgage rates. These buyers are looking for bargains and attempting to take advantage of the first-time buyer tax credit.

We also heard “pent-up demand” mentioned by many agents, as some buyers seem to have the view that it is once again safe to purchase a home. Because of the lingering concern, though, buyers are looking for deals and are cautious about making a purchase unless they are convinced of the bargain. We expect that the tax credit for first time homebuyers will lead to more traffic in September, as buyers must soon put homes into contract in order to close by November 30th.

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