Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jacksonville Home Report

Jacksonville, FL – No Confidence in the Economy, No Buyers at the Door
(5,135 single-family permits in 2008, 18th largest market in the country)

Traffic decreases, falls below expectations. Buyer traffic fell in December, following the gains seen in October and November, as our traffic index declined to 35in December from 46 in November, indicating traffic levels short of agents’ expectations (a reading below 50 suggests traffic short of agents’ expectations). Agents said that buyers have postponed looking for homes because of personal financial instability. Agents indicated that buyers have a poor economic outlook, which has led them to reconsider purchasing homes, despite the high levels of affordability. According to one agent, job losses have been responsible for the sentiment, and have further discouraged buyers from entering the market, even those who had the financial strength.

We also observed this lack of confidence in Jacksonville in our November survey, in which commentary revealed that while traffic improved, clients were unwilling to actually buy. In addition, one agent mentioned the expected expiration of the Nov. 30th tax credit created an earlier stir that led to little December traffic. Prices continue to fall with inventories flat.

Home prices fell again in December, but moved toward stabilization, as our price index increased to 35 from 14 in November, but any reading below 50 indicates lower home prices over the past 30 days. Prices continue to face pressure from a lack of demand and a weak economy. Our home listings index fell to 55 in December from 64 in November, in-line with a neutral reading of 50. We view unchanged inventory levels as a positive indicator of future pricing trends, and expect pricing to improve as demand is likely to return as we enter the spring selling season. However, we still remain concerned over potential foreclosures not listed for sale by banks.

John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida
Cell: 904-415-0171 Email: holbrook66@msn.com Web: www.nassaumls.net

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