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Housing market in flux; inventory increases 11%

September 12th, 2023 · Leave a Comment

While outside temperatures may continue to soar as fall approaches, the opposite is true of Northeast Florida’s housing market. A cooling period has begun with the inventory of single-family homes increasing in August, while pending sales and prices are down. Home affordability in the region crept up slightly during the last month of summer, but housing continues to be expensive compared to last year and previous years.

“The real estate market is fluctuating. Interest rates, inflation, and changing labor markets are factors,” said Diana Galavis, 2023 president of the Northeast Florida Association of  Realtors. “Home affordability took a slight upward tick, but overall housing is significantly more expensive than this time last year,” said Galavis. “Pending sales were down, which is heavily due to interest rates. Buyers now have an opportunity to preview more active inventory, and there are more new listings entering the market,” she said, referring to the increase of new listings to 3,022, a rise of 12% in August. Meanwhile, active inventory jumped 10.9% to 5,012 homes in the region.

In August, Northeast Florida’s Home Affordability Index for single-family homes over the region’s six counties registered at 66, a slight 1.5% hike upward from July, when the index came in at 65, its lowest point ever. However, August’s score still indicated a 14.3% drop from the same time in 2022.

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% downpayment. 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.

While affordability is still lower than it was last year, the index in August was still higher than it was in July, which is a good sign for buyers.  The region’s months’ worth of supply rose 10% to 2.7 months. The median sales price for single-family homes fell 3% to $383,000 and was down 1.8% from August the year before.

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

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