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Existing sellers’ market shows slow shift toward buyer’s market

October 11th, 2023 · Leave a Comment

Although September proved to be still officially a sellers’ market, there are many signs that finding a house to buy in Northeast Florida is slowly becoming easier for buyers.

Although sales price, number of closings, and pending sales have mostly increased in the six counties comprising North Florida indicating a climate favorable to sellers, buyers should not lose heart. The impact of interest changes is impacting a dropping Affordable Housing Index number, longer days on the market and a lower percentage of the asking price received, indicate that the market is slowly shifting towards buyers.

“Now is a good time to fall in love with real estate,” said 2023 President Diana Galavis of the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS. “Active listings are up 10% over the region, which allows buyers to shop through more available inventory. The month’s supply of inventory is up 30% from last month, while pending sales have decreased from last month, which is a direct reflection of the increase in interest rates.”

In the six-county region, the median sales price in September of single-family homes was $379,500, basically the same as the previous month. However, the median number of days on the market for single-family dwellings rose 22.6% by slowing to 38 days. Closed sales dropped 14.8% to 1,663, and pending sales fell 10.4% to 1,579.

“Pending sales were down from last month, which is a direct reflection of an increase of interest rates,” explained Galavis.

Buyers should be happy to see an active inventory of single-family homes in the region rise to 5,230, a 10.9% increase over last month and a 21.1% increase over September 2022. However, although the numbers show a 30% rise in the months’ supply of inventory, 3.1 is still considered low, historically speaking.

“There is a change in the season for real estate,” Galavis said, pointing to the approach of the holidays at the end of the year, traditionally a slower time in the market. “The market is navigating fluctuating interest rates, the higher cost of living, and low inventory.”

Registering at 66, Northeast Florida’s Home Affordability Index skidded downwards 1.5% demonstrating that purchasing a home, particularly for first-time home buyers, still remains an expensive undertaking.

The Housing Affordability Index measures housing affordability for the region. In other words, it measures 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. This index measures affordability factors for all homebuyers making a 20% down payment. An index of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income family has the exact amount of income needed to purchase a median-priced existing home. An index value over 100 means that the family has more than enough income, while a value below 100 means that a family doesn’t have enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan.

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

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