Hurricane Irma slows down Jacksonville housing market

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the local real estate market is being described as both good and bad. Home prices continue to rise, while sales have dropped, according to the latest numbers. 

There was about a two week pause in the housing market, pre and post Hurricane Irma. Closings were pushed back, showings did not happen, and even homes going on the market slowed down, leaving an already short supply even shorter. 

Over the last 10 days, Jacksonville could be described as having flooded streets but a dry housing market. Higher sales prices are a good thing, but many real estate experts say the storm has already had a big impact on an already low market. 

“We’ve seen a pause in people putting their homes on the market. Just really kind of a malaise that has come through North Florida and I assume the state,” said Howard Flaschen, the owner of Roundtable Realty. 

According to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, despite the average sales price going up, total sales are down from about this time last year. Flaschen says in Jacksonville, there is still some demand, especially from buyers. Some of the hotter zip codes are 32259, 32225, 32246, 32224, and 32081. 

“If it’s in good condition, is priced right and goes to market, everybody wants to buy it,” said Flaschen.

Many homes that were under contract to close around the time of Hurricane Irma have now been delayed, which in turn has slowed down the market. For the buyer, that may end up being a positive even if the home was not damaged. 

“Your lender may actually send the appraiser out again to check that the home has not been damaged. So they are going to re-certify it. That is part of the delay process,” said Flaschen. 

Flashchen said that typically these next two months, before the holiday season, are usually pretty strong months for the real estate market and with interest rates still at historic levels, now is still a great time to buy and sell.