The average price for a home on the First Coast jumped to more than $350,000 in April, according to Northeast Florida Association of Realtors data released this week.
The new average price per residential unit in Northeast Florida hiked to $357,438 in April, up from the March average of $344,643 and a whopping increase from April 2020’s average price of $296,555. That’s the last time the average price for a home on the First Coast was below $300,000, which had never been exceeded in the history of the region’s housing market.
Meanwhile, home inventory ticked up in April. It was the first increase in home inventory since the coronavirus pandemic set it in more than a year ago.
There were 3,991 homes for sale in Northeast Florida in April, up from 3,782 in March.
While April’s figure is up compared to March, it’s a stunning 58% decline from April 2020, when there were 9,544 homes for sale in the First Coast housing market.
The housing market remains a starkly defined seller’s market as the average price per home continues to skyrocket at record levels for the region.
“A year after the pandemic ‘closed’ the country, it is not surprising that a 2020 verses 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 NEFAR. “However, the average sales price over the same period has increased 20.5% to $357,438 … as a result of the bidding wars occurring in our market. Nearly 100% of all sales are bringing sellers their initial asking price.”
The housing market is hot largely due to northerners flocking south. The COVID-19 outbreak led to many professionals working out of their homes and, with remote capabilities, many of those workers figured they could work from anywhere.
NEFAR officials have previously stated that professionals — particularly in the northeast U.S. — are purchasing homes on the First Coast and depleting the inventory in the area. They add Northeast Florida is unusually attractive for housing because the region doesn’t have the overcrowding of South Florida or the Tampa area and there is no contention with tourists as seen in Central Florida.
But the low inventory and record-setting average prices are limiting access to affordable housing for many seeking to purchase a home in the area.
“Housing affordability remains a concern,” Howell said. “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%.”