Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jacksonville Housing Market

Jacksonville, FL – Demand Bounces Back, Looming
Tax Credit Deadline Motivates Buyers

(3,320 single-family permits in 2008, 23rd largest market in the country)

Traffic remains volatile, comes in to meet expectations. Buyer traffic regained
momentum in March, after slipping in February, as our buyer traffic index improved to 50 from 22 in February, coming in-line with a neutral reading of 50 (readings of 50 point to traffic in-line with agents’ expectations). Traffic has remained volatile since December, shortly following the beginning of the November 30th tax credit lull. In our March survey, agents noted that most buyers cited the tax credit as their reason for entering the market. Agents mentioned that as the tax credit deadline approaches, traffic has been increasing as buyers look to find the right home, while still leaving enough time to sign a contract by April 30th; whereas in our February survey, the tax credit was not able to overcome buyers’ concern over the economy and unemployment. Agents’ March commentary also showed that most activity was at the low-end of the market, with other activity attributable to
“relocation buyers, and move-up buyers who do not have existing mortgages,” which could otherwise hinder their ability to sell their residence and move. In addition to the tax credit, agents highlighted favorable pricing and inventory levels for the increase in demand.

Prices fall, inventory trends stabilize. Home prices continued to face pressure in March, as our price index came in at 34 (from 22 in February), remaining below a neutral reading of 50 (readings below 50 indicate sequentially lower prices). The fall in prices helped to stabilize inventory trends, as our home listings index came in at 50 (from 44 in February), suggesting stable inventories over the past month (readings of 50 indicate stable inventory trends). We view the inventory trends as a positive for future pricing, but remain concerned over foreclosure inventory held by banks, as well as the regions’ weak home price index readings throughout the downturn.

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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