Housing prices remain high as market continues moderating trend

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Although prices continued to rise in May, Northeast Florida’s housing market began to show continued signs of a moderating trend that should make both buyers and sellers rejoice.

Northeast Florida is still firmly rooted in a sellers’ market with the median price of single-family homes in May registering at a historic high of $392,000. Approximately 42% of sellers received more than their asking price, with 100.9% as the average amount they received of that asking price. In the condominium and townhouse market, the median sales price rose 2% to $267,500, with 38,4% of sellers receiving more than the listing price and the average amount they received being 101.2% of that listing price.

However, although prices remain high, buyers should be buoyed up by several indications that the market may be following a more downward moderating trend. Active inventory of single-family homes increased more than 10% from April to May, settling in at 3,257 homes for sale. Meanwhile, sales of homes are slowing slightly, spending a median of 14 days on the market, an increase in time of 16.7%. New listings also increased 3.4% to 3,072 homes, while the pending sales dropped 2.3% to 2,382 homes.

Sales of condominiums and townhouses followed a similar pattern in May when active inventory of those housing units rose 24.4% to 689 and spent a median of 14 days on the market, two days longer than last month. New listings jumped 25.8% to 717. Pending sales also rose 8.7% to 525.

“NEFAR’s (Northeast Florida Association of Realtors) May statistics are encouraging for both sellers and buyers,” said 2022 NEFAR President Mark Rosener. “We are still fully entrenched in a ‘sellers’ market’ and will stay there for quite some time; however, there are more homes available for buyers, which should make it easier for them to find that home that best matches their needs. Multiple offer situations seem to be moderating so that buyers do not find themselves in competition as much as they did six months to a year ago. There are more listings with price reductions, so it is very important that sellers be realistic in their pricing strategy.”

With rising home prices, the First Coast region is continuing to become increasingly less affordable. The home affordability index for single-family homes dropped 3.7% from 82 in April to 79 in May. An index of 79 means that median household income was only 79% of what is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home under prevailing mortgage interest rates. Higher numbers mean greater affordability.

“The trend for median price increases month over month has maintained a moderate and steady 3-4% increase in each month since January 2022 as expected,” said Rosener. “With the pressure on home affordability created by rising mortgage rates over the past five months, I would anticipate that these increases will become more moderate 1-2% increases month over month in the near future.”

In St. Johns County, the median price of single-family homes rose 3.4% from the month before to $583,950. The median days on the market was 14, and the active inventory rose to 837 homes, a 24.6% increase from April and 1.6-months’ supply. Approximately 37.1% of sellers received more than their listing price. The affordability index fell to 53, demonstrating that St. Johns County remains the least affordable area to live in Northeast Florida.

In Duval County, the May median price of single-family housing was $350,000, up 2.9% since April 2022. The median days on the market was 15, with 45.9% of sales closing above asking price. Active inventory for the county was 1,551 homes, an increase of 1% from last month and a 1.2 months’ supply. The Home Affordability Index registered at 89 down 2.2% from April.

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