Monday, December 5, 2011

Northeast Florida including Fernandina Beach Report

Jacksonville, FL – Low End Buyers and Investors Scour Market for Deals (3,381 single-family permits in 2010, 26th largest market in the country) Bargain hunters lead to increased traffic. Buyer traffic increased in November relative to October, as our traffic index improved to 38 from 25; however, this remains below a neutral reading of 50, indicating overall levels below agents’ expectations for this time of year). Agents said the increase came as a result of buyers and investors looking to take advantage of lower mortgage rates and home prices. One agent noted, “With rates at a historic low, purchasing a home is less expensive than renting on a monthly basis.” Another agent cited, “lower interest rates, home prices continuing to drop, and investors are out there too.” A third agent commented, “The market is still slow, but people continue to bargain hunt for foreclosures.” Not everyone was so rosy, however. Several agents said that buyer confidence remains extremely fragile and it’s tough for them to commit. “Buyers are still cautious about taking action,” according to one agent. Home prices remain under pressure. Home prices continued to fall in November, as our home price index came in at 25 (from 22 in October), well below a neutral reading of 50. Falling inventory levels have yet to provide support for home prices, likely as buyers continue to fear that the backlog of foreclosures working their way through the system, which have been delayed significantly by the robo-signing issues, will cause further declines in the near term. Our home listings index improved to 63 in November from 55 in October, with readings above 50 indicating lower inventory. In addition, the length of time needed to sell was unchanged, as our time to sell index jumped to 50 in November from 25 in October, consistent with a neutral reading. As noted above, however, the concern is that the lower inventory levels are only temporary and will increase once again as distressed listings come back to market. John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email: Web:

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