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Jax Daily Record Monday, Feb. 21, 202212:10 AM EST

Northeast Florida housing market is showing ‘signs of moderation’

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Inventory remains tight, according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.
by: Monty Zickuhr Managing Editor

The housing market in Northeast Florida has begun to show “signs of moderation,” according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.

The median sale price of a single-family home was $345,000 in January, a 1.4% drop from December 2021, but still 24% higher than a year ago.

“The Northeast Florida real estate market continues to show signs of moderating, although, as we expected, still is firmly entrenched as a sellers’ market,” NEFAR President Mark Rosener said in a news release.

“The concern of rapidly escalating median prices, which impacts the home affordability index, is also moderating with the median price of single-family homes hovering between $345,000 and $350,000 since November.”

The release said slight movement from month to month is normal and indicates a more normalized rate of appreciation.

Rosener said Northeast Florida’s home affordability index has remained at or near 100 for the better part of the last four months.

That means the median household income was 100% of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under current interest rates.

The number of homes on the market continues to be tighter than a year ago.

The number of new single-family homes listed for sale increased 11.1% from December to 2,100 but remains lower than the 3,641 available in January 2021.

The active inventory of homes for sale dropped 14.7% to 2,389 in December, a 34.4% decline from a year ago.

“While new listings were more than in December, we still fell 13.7% short of the new listings that hit the market last January,” Rosener said.

He said the increase from December to January is more in line with the seasonality of the business. 

“Northeast Florida is still low at just 1.4 months of supply of inventory but shows a slight improvement from the mark of 1.1 months’ supply at the end of December,” he said.

“Further signs of moderation are seen in the fact that the number of days on market has remained stable over the past two months at a very brisk 22 days from when a single-family home hits the market to contract.”

He said most sellers still are receiving list price with 99.5% of listings selling at the asking price.

Rosener said the pace of demand seems to be returning to normal seasonal levels with closed sales down 9.4% and pending sales down 6.3% from last year. 

“We recall that December 2020 and January 2021 had inflated post-COVID lockdown demand that did not return to a more normalized seasonal level. Now, there is still strong demand, but it is not as frenzied as was apparent last year.”

He said the region “is enjoying a brisk real estate market at the beginning of 2022 with sellers in a good position.”

“Hopefully the future will become a little easier for buyers when more inventory comes onto the market in February, March, and April.”

Nationally, a forecast by economists from Redfin predicted that home price growth, which has been in the double digits since summer 2020, is expected to slow to an annual rate of 7% by the end of 2022.

They expect the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to continue to rise steadily to 3.9% over the year.

“By this summer, higher prices and rates may cause buyers to pull back from the market,” Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said.

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors says it represents more than 11,000 members.

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