First Coast housing market perks up in February

First Coast housing market perks up again in February
Home sales drop on the First Coast in April. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Inventory for residential properties plummets as average price for Northeast Florida homes spike.
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The housing inventory on the First Coast dropped by 634 homes in just one month as prices jump.

The First Coast housing market shows no signs of faltering as demand for homes remains high and property inventory decreases, according to Northeast Florida Association of Realtors data released this month.

February saw yet another dip in the number of houses on the market in the Northeast Florida area. There were only 3,931 homes for sale in the region last month, a notable drop from January’s 4,295 properties on the market. There were 3,063 First Coast pending sales in February, an 11% increase from a year ago.

Not only was the residential property inventory down by 634 units in a single month, it was a staggering 56% decline from a year ago. It’s a continuing trend as the coronavirus outbreak has prompted a surge in demand for homes on the First Coast while the number of homes being sold simply can’t keep up.

“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.”

As the inventory drops, prices for homes are hovering at record levels. February’s average price for a house on the First Coast was $323,467, a 14% increase from a year ago and up from January’s average price in the region of $318,049. Prior to the pandemic, the average price for a home in Northeast Florida never exceeded $300,000.

NEFAR officials have said in the past one of the strongest drivers in the First Coast housing market is stoked by the pandemic. Now that many people throughout the country have figured out they can work remotely from home, many workers, particularly in the Northeast, have target the First Coast for relocation given it’s not as dense in population as other areas in Florida and property values aren’t as steep.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


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