Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jacksonville Real Estate Report

Jacksonville, FL – (3,381 single-family permits in 2010, 26th largest market in the country) Relapse in traffic as buyers continue to lack confidence. Buyer traffic deteriorated in December, suffering a setback after seeing improvement in November, as our traffic index dropped to 17 from 38. This is well below a neutral reading of 50, indicating traffic below agents’ expectations for this time of year, and is also by far the worst reading out of any of the Florida markets we surveyed in December. Despite the attractive prices and rates, most agents said that economic fears and credit concerns dominated buyers’ psyche. According to one agent, “Buyers are afraid the economy is not recovering and are waiting for prices to fall even more.” Another agent cited the “lack of available mortgage money…tighter lending criteria.” And in another negative sign, one agent commented, “Buyer leads are pretty soft right now. Listing leads are up.” This could point to further inventory troubles ahead. Agents who saw better traffic credited the “great prices” and buyers who are either all-cash or relocations. Time to sell lengthens, home prices fall. Home prices remained under pressure in December, as our home price index came in at 31 (from 25 in November), with readings below 50 indicating lower home prices over the past 30 days. Inventory levels continued to trend lower, though the declines appeared more modest than last month as our home listings index fell to 56 in December from 63 in November (above a neutral 50). In addition, we continue to believe that the massive backlog of distress still working its way through the system will add to inventory over the next year, which is likely why the recent trend lower has not helped home prices. Furthermore, the length of time needed to sell increased in December, typically a negative indicator for pricing. John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email: Web:

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