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Sellers’ market expected to sizzle through spring, summer

May 17th, 2021 · Leave a Comment

Housing prices are rising. Buyer demand is strong, and with a limited supply of homes on the market, Northeast Florida’s sizzling sellers’ market shows no sign of easing through spring and on into summer.

New listings in the Northeast Florida region increased 26.5% to 4,030 in April, while pending sales were up 51.8% to 3,615. Meanwhile, the inventory of homes for sale – 3,991 residential units– continued to hover at record lows with only 1.2-month supply for sale in the region. This is a 58.2% drop from a year ago when there were 9,544 homes on the market.

Home sales in April were so strong that many sellers had the luxury of choosing between multiple offers that were well above the asking price. Nearly 40% of all properties sold over the list price, a significant gain from March 2021, when only 28.7% sold over the asking price. With such strong activity, by the time a property sale closes, the market may have already moved higher than the sold price suggests.

Conversely, many prospective buyers found themselves dealing with the stress and frustration of having to submit offers on multiple properties simultaneously before they could secure a purchase. In April 2021, residential properties averaged 41 days on the market, the time between when a property was listed and when the offer was accepted. This represents a 38.8% drop in 12 months. As housing prices continue to rise, affordable housing has become more difficult to find. The April 2021 housing affordability index of 123 signals an 8.9% drop from a year ago, and a decline from 127, the index that was registered in March.

In April 2021, the median sales price for homes in Northeast Florida was $284,941, up 14.1% from a year ago. This shows an increase of $10,000 from the March 2021 median sales price of $274,900. Similarly, the average sales price for all closed sales, not accounting for seller concessions, rose 20.5% to $357,438 in April 2021, a significant increase from $296,555 a year ago, and $344,643 just four weeks before.

“A year after the pandemic “closed” the country, it is not surprising that a 2020 vs. 2021 comparison of new listings shows an increase of 26.5%, or 845 more listings in April of 2021 than in April of 2020,” said Missi Howell, president of the Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS®. “However, the average sales price over the same period has increased 20.5% to $357,438, and the percent of properties selling for more than the list price has increased from 15.2% to 36.9%, reflecting a 142.8% increase – a result of the bidding wars occurring in our market. Nearly 100% of all sales are bringing sellers their initial asking price. 

“Housing affordability remains a concern, with the affordability index dropping again to 123,” she continued. “This means the median household income is 123% of what is needed to qualify for the median priced home under prevailing interest rates. A year ago, we were at 140%,” she said.

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