Northeast Florida becoming slightly more affordable for home buyers: report

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There is some good news for homebuyers in the Jacksonville area.

According to a recent report, it’s becoming more affordable to buy a home in Northeast Florida.

Last year marked one of the wildest years in the housing market in recent years.

Housing prices spiked and interest rates rose, making the dream of owning a home unaffordable for many.

But according to a new report from the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR), that is changing as homes are becoming slightly more affordable.

The six Northeast Florida counties tracked by NEFAR, which include Duval, St. Johns, Clay, Putnam, Nassau and Baker, became 4.1% more affordable in January based on the group’s affordability index.

NEFAR president Diana Galavis said the index measures whether a typical family earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a typical home, based on current interest rates, median income, and median home prices.

The entire area has become 13% more affordable since the most recent peak in October 2022.

“A couple of different factors that come into play. One is the interest rates, our buyers are becoming more comfortable with the higher interest rates, and people are still moving into the greater Jacksonville area,” Galavis said.

Current NEFAR Affordability Indexes (Index value of 100 means that the average family has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage):

  • Putnam County: 116
  • Baker County: 95
  • Duval County: 88
  • Clay County: 75
  • Nassau County: 74
  • St. Johns County: 52

St. Johns County remains the least affordable county in the area, with a median home price of $526,500 as of January while the most affordable area is across the St. Johns River in Putnam County, which has a median home price of $234,000.

“There is a lot of emphasis on Putnam County right now. So we’re watching and seeing what the trends are,” Galavis said.

In Duval County, the January median price of single-family housing was $308,000, a slight decrease from December 2022 when it registered $319,945, according to NEFAR. The median days on the market in January was 50, a 28.2% increase over December. Month-to-month, closed sales dropped 36.2% to 547, pending sales rose 24% to 857, and new listings rose 34.8% to 1,357. Active inventory for the county was 2,381 homes, an increase of 2% from December and a 4.4-month supply.

“The January market reflects a significant increase in months of supply, moving Northeast Florida closer to a stable market,” Galavis said. “Closed sales were down for January, but this is a typical slow up for the time of year. Factors such as interest rates, loan processing times, and inventory play a role in the lower closed sales in January.”

NEFAR said active inventory gradually rose in January 2.6% to 5,011 units in the six-county region, and the month’s supply of homes has risen 57.5% since December 2022. NEFAR said that demonstrates a further stabilization of the housing market, which is something both buyers and sellers can benefit from.

A more detailed breakdown of market statistics can be found on NEFAR’s website.

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Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.