Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Northeast Florida Market report - Real Estate

Jacksonville, FL – Converting Traffic into Contracts is Taking Time, Patience, and Lower Prices (3,381 single-family permits in 2010, 26th largest market in the country) Traffic down modestly, but still at decent levels. Buyer traffic fell in August, as our traffic index dipped slightly to 39 from 42 in July, indicating traffic levels below agents’ expectations (any reading below 50). However, this was still good enough to be tied for the highest reading in the 20 largest markets we survey. After a solid spring and early summer, sales seem to have moderated as of late, but agents say well-priced homes in good locations are still selling. One agent commented, “The under $150,000 market is heating up and involves lots of work and showings.” Another agent said, “I’m feeling more sincerity on the part of the buyers looking around.” However, not all were as positive. One agent said that the traffic may have been ok, but, “Still just a bunch of lookers.” Others also noted difficulty securing financing and getting appraisals high enough to support prices. “Many properties are not appraising, including short sales,” according to one agent. Sellers cutting prices in order to generate buyer interest. Home prices remained under pressure in August as sellers continued to adjust in response to buyer demands and competition from distress. Our home price index slipped to 23 from 25 in July, with readings below 50 indicating lower home prices over the past 30 days. We think the declines are likely to continue in the coming months. Inventory levels were stable in August, as our home listings index fell to 50 from 58 in July, in-line with a neutral reading of 50. However, our time to sell index still indicated a longer time needed to sell a home, as deals are taking longer to formalize given buyer hesitancy, coming in at 23 in August (from 21 in July) vs. a neutral reading of 50. The longer time needed to sell is typically a negative indicator for near-term pricing trends. John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email: Web:

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