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Buyers show love for real estate

March 20th, 2023 · Leave a Comment

Closed and pending sales for housing in Northeast Florida increased in February, which is rare at this time of the year. The combined number of single-family homes, condos and townhouses in the region rose almost 26% from January to February demonstrating that the housing market within the six-county area is alive and well, despite low inventory and higher prices.

“Love was in the air for real estate this February,” said Diana Galavis, 2023 president of the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS®.  “Closed sales were up as more buyers said “I do” and closed on their perfect home match. Increased listings on the market provided buyers with more inventory to shop and potentially secure a home. With more ‘fish in the sea’ and increased active inventory, more homes were going under contract. This is a reflection that buyers are comfortable with the fluctuating market and were ready to make a move in securing real estate.” 

With an active inventory of 4,811 in February, the number of single family homes in the region inched up a mere 2%, but showed a 174% increase from a year ago. This represents a 3.4-months’ supply of homes, a 20.5% decrease from January 2023, but a 277.9% increase from February 2022 when it there was not even a months’ worth of inventory on the market.

“The months’ supply of inventory moved to under 4 months,” Galavis said. “More buyers were in market than there was available inventory to purchase. Factors such as building supply, construction, job transfers, and relocations played a role. Six months of inventory is a stable market,” she said.

The median sales price for single-family homes throughout the region remained at $360,000, the same as the month before, while the median price per square foot of homes slightly decreased to $196. This is a sign that a different product mix may be selling in the market as larger homes sell for more money but often at a lower dollar amount per square foot.

“The median sales price temporarily stabilized with the price per square foot slightly decreasing. This can be contributed to market interest rates and buying power,” Galavis explained.

As the median sales price of single-family homes stabilized so did the Home Affordability Index for single-family residences in the six-county region. In February the index again registered at 76. It shows whether a typical family earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a typical home, based on current interest rates, median income, and median home prices.  A higher number means greater affordability. An index value of 100 means that the average family has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage.

NEFAR’s market reports are available at nefar.com.

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