There’s good news for both homebuyers and sellers

Prices reached record highs, but inventory is increasing, allowing for less competition between buyers.

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May housing numbers in the Jacksonville area provided positive news for both buyers and sellers, according to the monthly report by the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. 

Price growth continues to rise but the rate of that increase has slowed. Inventory, which has been sparse for the past six months, is up.

That said, the asking price in the market reached another historic high in May with a median single-family home price of $392,000. 

About 42% of sellers received an average 100.9% of their asking price.

Median sale prices of condominiums and town houses rose 2% to $267,500, with 38.4% of sellers averaging 101.2% of the asking price.

Buyers found more choices in May with 3,257 houses on the market, more than 10% above the April inventory.

Median listing time increased to 14 days and pending sales dipped by 2.3% to 2,382 homes.

Condo and town house sales followed suit. 

Active inventory rose 24.4% to 689 and also were on the market for a median of 14 days. That’s two days longer than in April. 

New listings increased by 25.8% to 717 and pending sales increased by 8.7% to 525.

“We are still fully entrenched in a sellers’ market and will stay there for quite some time, however, there are more homes available to buyers, which makes it easier for them to find a home that matches their needs,” said Mark Rosener, 2022 NEFAR president in a release.

Rosener also cited a loosening of competition between buyers as the market enters the busy summer buying season.

“Multiple offer situations seem to be moderating so that buyers do not find themselves in competition as much as they did six months to a year ago.”

With inventory rising and the pace of price increases slowing, Rosener advises sellers to ask for a reasonable price.

“There are more listings with price reductions, so it is very important that sellers be realistic in their pricing strategy.”

Still, affordability is on the wane. The home affordability index dropped from 82 to 79 in May. This means the median household income had only 79% of the funds necessary to qualify for a median-price home under current lending conditions. The optimum home affordability index number is above 100. 

The index may remain somewhat stable in the coming months, Rosener said in an email.

“Both the median price and mortgage interest rates seem to be stabilizing so I would think the home affordability would also remain about where it is for the next couple of months. If mortgage rates go up more, it would negatively impact the home affordability and the score would go down,” he said.

“The only way the home affordability would move in a favorable direction, i.e. go up toward 100, would be if the median income went up, which is perhaps likely, and the median price and/or mortgage rates go down, which is highly unlikely,” Rosener said.

St. Johns County remains the most expensive county in Northeast Florida to purchase a house with a median price of $583,950, up 3.4% from April.

Putnam County remains the most affordable with a median price of $237,945. However, that represents an 18.4% increase in that county’s median single-family home price.

In building news, the Northeast Florida Builders Association reports that the number of permits issued for the construction of dwellings fell for the second consecutive month from 1,208 in April to 1,195 in May. 

Those are the number of permits pulled in Duval, Clay, St. Johns and Nassau counties. January was the best month in 2022 with 1,457 issued.