Soft Landing in Housing Market

28 07 2006

Data compiled from city and county building departments by the Northeast Florida Builders Association show the greater Jacksonville area growth rate has stabilized.

With 1,099 single-family permits issued in June in a four-county area, construction has tapered off. Last year, 8,829 permits were issued in the first half of the year. This year, 7,077 permits were issued during the same time.

Building permits declined in Nassau County from 87 in May to 75 in June. For the year, 486 building permits have been issued in Nassau, compared to 1,306 in all of 2005 and 1,238 in all of 2004.

Duval County reported an increase, with 659 permits issued in June, 572 in May. Clay was nearly even with 132 permits in June and 134 in May. St. Johns reported 233 permits in June, 242 in May.

Citing an article in the June edition of Money magazine, past NEFBA President Bryan Lendry noted that as red-hot real estate markets cool down the general effect will be what Money calls a “soft landing.” Money ranks Jacksonville No. 6 in the nation in terms of projected growth. McAllen, El Paso, Dallas and Houston in Texas and New Orleans take up the top five spots.

Money reports that the median home price in the Jacksonville area is $200,000, a 20.9 percent increase in the past year and 78.1 percent change over five years.

Even with a slowdown to a local growth rate of 8 percent, which is what experts are predicting, 2006 would still be the third best year for the residential construction industry in recent history.

Source: Florida’s News Leader

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