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Competitive housing market forcing some potential buyers out of the game

Homes in Jacksonville are selling at an 18% premium according to researchers at Florida Atlantic University.
Homes in Jacksonville are selling at an 18% premium according to researchers at Florida Atlantic University.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Homes in Jacksonville are selling at an 18% premium according to researchers at Florida Atlantic University.

Overvalued homes are putting buyers at a distinct disadvantage in negotiations.

That means buyer beware.

Realtors say bidding wars can easily send prices to levels that make buyers uncomfortable.

They say don’t be afraid to walk away.

“When the supply or inventory is so low, it’s great for sellers,” said real estate agent Cole Slate.

But Slate says that is not so great for potential buyers.

“They find a home that they fall in love with on a Thursday or Friday afternoon and then the seller is calling for highest and best,” he said. “They’re competing against 10, sometimes 20 offers on a Sunday evening when putting their best foot forward.”

Slate says people are eager to move to Jacksonville, even from places like New York City and California.

A March study from LinkedIn found Jacksonville saw the second most new residents since April 2020.

The only city where more people moved was Salt Lake City.

“(It’s) due to our cost of living, our schools, our neighborhoods and everything northeast Florida has to offer that no other city in the country does,” Slate said.

If you are in the market to buy a house, Slate suggests one trick to avoid getting into a bidding war and losing: go lower.

If you are pre-approved for a $400,000 loan, consider looking at homes listed at $375,000 or $380,000 to leave room for competition.

Another option is to not move at all.

“Maybe the best play is if you don’t have to move right now is to re-finance,” Slate said.

This is a market Slate expects to look this way for the next year or two.

The one thing that remains in a buyer’s favor is a low-interest rate. Slate says rates are still hovering around 3% and 3.25% on a conventional 30-year loan.


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