Home prices rising in NE Florida

Low interest rates, home sale prices mirror growing housing market

Author: Erica Rakow, General assignment reporter, erakow@wjxt.com
Published On: Oct 21 2013 04:26:42 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 21 2013 09:56:51 AM EDT
Mortgage
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Low interest rates and still fairly low home sale prices mirror a continuously growing housing market in Northeast Florida.

However, the market is still facing concerns that mortgage rates will continue to go up.

The temporary shutdown of the federal government had an effect on people who were about to close on their homes, although it was only shutdown for two weeks, a lot of people were unable to get important, needed documents from the Internal Revenue Service.

Some families even had their stuff packed on trucks ready to move when their closing had to be canceled.

"It definitely did slow it down just a little bit because of this Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, FHA, all of those are government agencies," said realtor David Elian.

The government shutdown trickled down to those agencies, who at first also completely shutdown but then brought back a slim staff.

"We were still able to close loans, during that period of time we thought that we wouldn't be able to but we were still able to. What slowed down the most though was when people needed to contact the IRS to get transcripts on their tax forms, to be able to prove the validity of their income, when that part of it shut down then that's what slowed down every body," said Elian.

Elian said a slow down was easier to handle because they expected it to kill the business market. The market is now still holding strong though, mortgage rates rose, but only slightly, last week.

"They're still extremely low and what we're seeing is that they haven't risen so much that it's bumping out too many buyers now. A few months ago they were in the low 3s now they're in the low 4s at about 4 and a quarter to 4 and a half right so still extremely low for us," said Elian.

Elian said home prices are steadily going up in Northeast Florida and have been for the last year.

"Whats happened is that the prices are still very stable but they're not increasing like they were every single month like they were the last six or eight months, so that's been extremely inviting for sellers to jump into the market, get that home sold while the prices are going up," said Elian.

As far as sales go, Elian said it dipped in September but he said that's normal for the entire nation because people coordinate moves with the school year. It won't pick back up again until after the holiday season.