Friday, February 10, 2012

Northeast Florida Property Report

Jacksonville, FL – Buyers Start the New Year Ready to Make Decisions(3,381 single-family permits in 2010, 26th largest market in the country) Traffic bounces back as confidence improves. Buyer traffic improved in January,continuing the volatile trend seen in recent months, as our traffic index bounced to 48 from 17 in December (after coming in at 38 in November). This points to traffic levels in-line with agents’ expectations for this time of year (as measured by a reading of 50). The choppiness is consistent with a market still trying to find its footing as buyers balance the attractive affordability with continued economic and employment concerns, as well as fear of falling prices and inability to obtain a mortgage. Agents said confidence improved this month, with one noting, “New year, less inventory, buyers having to make decisions to buy and are doing so.” Another agent highlighted, “more confidence in the economy.” Interestingly, homebuilders also may be benefitting now (Jacksonville has been a challenging market for new construction lately), as one agent noted, “Increased interest in new construction.” Home prices remain under pressure. Home prices remained under pressure in January,as our home price index improved to 38 from 31 in December, but remained below a neutral reading of 50 (any reading below 50 points to lower home prices over the past 30 days). Inventory levels continued to improve, as our home listings index increased to 71 in January from 56 in December, indicating falling inventory, though our concern remains that a substantial number of distressed homes have yet to come to market. The length of time needed to sell increased modestly in January, but our index is moving closer to a neutral reading, rising to 42 in January from 31 in December (vs. a neutral 50). Comments from real estate agents: “Employment remains key issue, as does availability of financing and real estate values." “End of December finished strong and January off to a slow start. Short sale response time has gotten ridiculously long.” John Holbrook - Realtor Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach & Yulee, Florida Cell: 904-415-0171 Email: Web:

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