If you have been fortunate enough to have lived on the First Coast during the last decade there is no denying the amount of growth you have witnessed. Commercial and residential properties seem to be hot commodities in many areas of the region. So, why is Northeast Florida so popular and will it maintain this level of expansion throughout the next 10 years? According to industry professionals, all signs point to a resounding “yes!”
It seems almost too easy to explain the draw for buyers and investors to Northeast Florida. Jacksonville the only Florida city that is home to four Fortune 500 companies, has a major international shipping port, boasts world class healthcare options (including the prestigious Mayo Clinic), has a cost of living below the national average, all while offering great weather and miles and miles of gorgeous Atlantic Ocean coastline.
Is the market still hot? And who is buying property?
While growth and momentum slowed a bit from mid to late 2019, the market is still vibrant and on the move. New construction is king and development shows no signs of cessation. Existing homes are taking slightly longer to sell, yet inventory on existing homes still remains low and sellers are getting close to 98 % of original asking price.
One group that has taken the area by storm are Millennials. They represent a large pool of potential buyers with a solid average income of $88,000. Not only is their home buying power undeniable, but they are especially adept at Internet research, giving them particularly strong insights into the real estate market.
Online real estate search sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com are how approximately 50 % of all buyers search for their next home. This number skyrockets to 93 % for buyers under the age of 36, putting technology front and center in the future of homebuying.
Similarly, online lenders can not only quote these tech-savvy potential buyers the latest interest rates and loan product details, but can also complete a transaction from application to closing without the buyer ever having to leave the comfort of their home office.
So, what’s next?
Jacksonville is geographically the largest city in the United States and although it may seem like there is new construction at every turn, there is still a large amount of available land ripe for more development.
People are flocking to our area, showing no signs of slowing down in their progression toward our warmer climates, beautiful landscapes and affordable living. Interest rates are – and are projected to stay – below 5 percent, which makes living in paradise even more affordable. Another plus is that Florida is a homestead state, offering a welcome tax reprieve to those escaping high-tax states.
In sum, Northeast Florida not only remains a great place to plant roots as a permanent resident, but is also a thriving area for investors and developers.
Robin Zuckerman is a St. Johns County-based REALTOR, working in partnership with her husband and fellow REALTOR Josh, for The Zuckerman Group at Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty. For real estate questions contact her at 904.424.9866 or visit zuckermangroup.com.