JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Home prices are climbing in Florida more than any other state in the country, and according to a new Zillow report.
Jacksonville and Tampa Bay lead the state. It also says of the 21 Florida neighborhoods with prices climbing the fastest, 9 of them are in Jacksonville.
Of those 9, the top two neighborhoods for the fastest growing home prices may surprise some: Lackawanna and Mixon Town. Both are located side-by-side outside Murray Hill and Riverside. Zillow’s data show their median home values now stand at $86,725 and $84,841. Mathematically, that means both neighborhoods jumped more than 40% in the last ten years. Melissa Ricks is a realtor in northeast Florida and says this all has to do with how the market is right now.
“Any of these areas, especially in the downtown area and the urban core, there is a massive influx of cash investors and fix and flip investors that are coming into our marketplace,” Ricks said.
Ricks says investors revamp these homes and put them back on the market for a competitive price or even turn them into rental properties. Ricks says when inventory is low, buyers are more willing to expand their searches to more neighborhoods.
“Competitions in those neighborhoods are just skyrocketing because rates are still low,” Ricks said. “First time home buyers are still trying to get in and they make these homes nice and turnkey for them.”
For years, St. Johns County growth was front and center, but Ricks says Jacksonville is catching up with investors seeing the potential. She goes on to say in her observation, this last year has brought the highest growth for cash hedge funds and local investors to the area.
“There’s a really, really sharp local investment investor market in Jacksonville and they all know each other,” Ricks said. “They all come in, they’ve got really great resources, so they can turn these homes into really awesome first-time homes for a lot of first-time homebuyers.”
Ricks says overall, this is still very much a seller’s market.
“I’ve started to see it plateau a little bit, I don’t see our values dropping necessarily,” Ricks said. “I see us leveling out a little bit.”
Ricks says with roughly months of active inventory on the market, there’s still quite a bit of competition.
“It’s turning though, I can’t say that I see ever see us dropping in values over the next couple of years,” Ricks said. “I think that it just can’t. It can’t appreciate as intensely as it has over the last year and a half. It had to slow down at some point.”