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Housing prices continue to rise as inventory hovers near record lows

March 15th, 2021 · Leave a Comment

The Northeast Florida housing continues to be a red-hot sellers’ market as inventory of single-family residential and condominium properties continued to hover at record lows in February, while closed sales, the median sales price, and average sales price in Northeast Florida’s residential market continued to rise.

Inventory levels in Northeast Florida fell 56.1% from a year ago to 3,931 units in February, a decline of 634 units since January 2021.  Also on the decline were new listings in region, which decreased 13.5% from a year ago to 2,955, a drop from 3,078 in January 2021. Meanwhile, in February, pending sales rose 11.4% from a year ago to 3,063.

“We saw a 73% increase in homes closing above the listing price compared to this time last year, with almost 22% of all those sold selling above the original listing price, and our inventory has dropped again to only a 1.3 months’ supply,” said NEFAR President Missi Howell. “Northeast Florida has become a magnet for people due to our climate, overall affordability compared to other larger cities in the Southeast, healthcare options, and a well-balanced economy driving the influx.”

Mortgage interest rates ticked up a bit higher in February but still remain below their February 2020 levels. Interest rates may continue to rise a bit further in coming weeks, according to Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater. “While there are multiple temporary factors driving up rates, the underlying economic fundamentals point to rates remaining in the low 3% range for the year,” he said. With rates still at historically low levels, home sales are unlikely to be significantly impacted, although higher rates do impact affordability.

2021 prices continue to gain traction. Since February 2020, the median sales price has increased 11.8% to $265,000, representing a slight increase over $256,250 in January 2021. Meanwhile, the average sale price of $323,467 represents a 14.1% increase over a year ago and a slight increase of January 2021’s price of $318,049.

The price range with the strongest residential sales among single-family homes, condos and townhomes continued to be units in $1 million range and above, with a 63% increase over last year. However, pending sales fell among lower priced units, particularly in the $149,999 and below range (-16.2%) and $150,00 to $199,999 range (-2.8%). New construction has risen 26.8% since Feb. 2020, and single-family homes continue to be much desired by buyers, with sales rising 13.8% since last year.

The average number of days between when a property is listed and when an offer is accepted dropped to 49 days, down 32.9% from February 2020 when it was 73 days. Sellers were also encouraged as the month’s supply of inventory was down to 1.3 months, a 60.6% drop from a year ago.

For homeowners currently struggling due to COVID-19, government agencies are continuing their efforts to try to help those in need. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced it will allow homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to receive an additional three months of forbearance, extending total payment relief to up to 18 months. Qualified homeowners needed to be in a forbearance plan as of the end of February.

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