Monday, October 10, 2011

Jacksonville Buyers Report

Jacksonville, FL – Buyers Running for the Hills with Cloud of Uncertainty Looming (3,381 single-family permits in 2010, 26th largest market in the country) Traffic falls further as index reaches new lows for the year. Traffic fell sharply in September, as our traffic index dipped to 23 from 39 in August, missing agents’ expectations for this time of year (readings below 50). This marks the region’s lowest reading since October 2010. Agents highlighted that buyers were only looking if they “truly needed a home,” otherwise they remained on the sidelines. Economic concerns, volatile stock market activity, and an overall lack of confidence all worked to keep buyers away from the market in September. One agent mentioned, “There is a sense of folks hunkering down.” Another agent noted, “Job security is a real issue for people. They don’t feel comfortable making such a big ticket commitment.” Traffic has been choppy since peaking in May, with September marking the lowest reading. One agent thinks the trend could end up looking worse as the year progresses, commenting, “Foot traffic is ok, but phone traffic is slower, meaning the end of the year could be really slow.” Agents also mentioned that would be buyers have had continued difficulty securing financing. Pricing continues to fall as homes linger on the market. Home prices continued to face pressure in September, as our home price index came in at 32 (from 23 in August), closer toward a neutral reading, but still falling short, pointing to sequentially lower prices (readings below 50). We think recent inventory trends may have helped our price index, as inventory levels were stable for the second consecutive month. Our home listings index came in at 50 (unchanged from our reading in August), with readings of 50 pointing to flat inventory levels. However, the time to sell increased again in September, which we expect to remain a drag on the region’s pricing. Our time to sell index came in at 14 (from 23 in August), with readings below 50 pointing to an increased time to sell. John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email: Web:

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