Jacksonville home sales take a hit in July

26 08 2010

Single-family home sales in Jacksonville dropped 23 percent in July but the decline was not as bad as the statewide drop.

Nationally and statewide, the drop in sales was worse than Jacksonville’s decline. Nationally it fell 27 percent from 5.26 million sales in June to 3.83 million units in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. In Florida, it fell to 13,589 in July, about 25 percent down from 18,038 in June of this year, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.

The Jacksonville metropolitan area’s sales of 1,500 in June — fueled in part by closings from sales from the federal first-time home buyers’ credit — fell to 1,159 in July. That was the lowest monthly sales total since February’s 843. July’s home sales volume mark represented a decrease from 1,226 sold in July 2009, and the median price has fallen 9 percent from $156,800 in July 2009 to $143,400 last month.

The trend was the same in condominium sales, which sank from 234 in June to 200 in July. Compared to last year, condo sales rose 44 percent from 139 in July 2009, but condo values sank 39 percent from $119,500 in July 2009 to $73,100 in July 2010.

The state’s median existing-home sales value sank year-to-year, too — it was $138,000 in July and $147,600 in July 2009, down 7 percent.

Sean Snaith, director for the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness, said the dual downward-pointing indicators suggest that the expiration of an $8,000 first-time home buyers credit has produced a double-dip in the market.

“As we move past this second dip, which is evident in the July data, the continued recovery of the state’s housing market will be contingent upon the improvement of the fundamental underpinnings of the housing sector,” he said. That will be reliant on job growth and employment, he noted.

Florida Realtors President Wendell Davis, a broker with Watson Realty Corp., said the Gulf oil spill and uncertainty on how it will impact Florida real estate affected the state’s market in July.

Nationally, sales of previously occupied homes in the United States fell 27 percent in July, the weakest showing in 15 years, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. It was the largest monthly drop in the four decades that records have been kept.

Potential buyers are hesitating because they think home prices still have further to fall. Potential sellers — those with the stomach to put their homes on the market at all, anyway — are reluctant to lower their prices.

“It really is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Aaron Zapata, a real estate agent in Brea, Calif. “If all buyers perceive that home prices are coming down, then they will stop making offers — and home prices will come down.”

While the standoff plays out, home sales are plummeting.

Sharp declines were recorded in each of the four regions the group tracks. Yet the pain is being felt unevenly from state to state and city to city. Some markets are rebounding even as others languish.

Sellers in sluggish markets like Las Vegas and Chicago can expect to wait an average of more than five months to sell their homes, according to real estate brokerage ZipRealty Inc. It’s even worse in Palm Beach, where it takes nearly six months, longest in the nation.

In healthier markets such as San Francisco and Denver, the average wait is only about two months. Sellers in Washington appear to have the nation’s best major market; they are waiting only about a month and a half.

Beyond geography, the sales numbers vary depending on the price of the home.

The biggest drops in sales are among homes in the low and middle price ranges. For example, 47 percent fewer homes in the Midwest priced between $100,000 and $250,000 sold in July, compared with July last year. By contrast, sales of million-dollar-plus homes in that region actually rose slightly year over year.

This spring, government tax credits helped drive sales, especially among first-time buyers of less expensive homes. But those tax credits have expired now, and many people rushed to lock in sales before they did.

Since then, the number of homes lingering on the market has swelled to nearly 4 million in July. At the current pace of sales, it would take about a year and two weeks to sell all those homes and get them off the market. A healthy level is six months.

Source: The Associated Press and Florida Times Union

Jacksonville condo sales jump 90%, median price drops 42%

16 08 2010

The Jacksonville area had the second largest increase in condominium home sales in the state in the second quarter, but also had the biggest drop in condo prices during the same period, according to Florida Realtors.

Condo sales rose 90 percent to 682 units sold in the three months ending June 30 from the same period in 2009. Only Lakeland had a larger increase at 144 percent, accounting for 83 units sold.

Statewide condo sales increased 45 percent to 20,986 unit. Only Pensacola, which has been directly impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, had a decline in sales, dropping 10 percent to 140 units sold.

Jacksonville had a 42 percent decline in the median condo price to $74,200 in the second quarter, which was the steepest decline in the state. The statewide median condo price dropped 10 percent to $98,900. Only two communities reported an increase in the median condo price. In Cape Coral it rose 2 percent to $132,800 and in Tampa it rose 2 percent to $101,600.

Single-family home sales rose 33 percent to 4,073 units sold in the second quarter in Jacksonville, compared with the statewide 21 percent increase to 51,564. Jacksonville’s median home price dropped 9 percent to $145,100, compared to the state’s 1 percent drop to $141,300.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

Foreclosure Notices Drop in Jacksonville Area

16 08 2010

Foreclosure-related notices sent to Jacksonville-area homes dipped by more than 17 percent in July, led by declines in St. Johns County, according to real estate data aggregator RealtyTrac.

At 2,673, the level of notices was down considerably from 3,242 in June but was still at a high level.

And year-over-year, the figure was up slightly – by 4.82 percent.

In St. Johns County, the 320 households receiving notices in July was down by nearly 43 percent from the 559 reported for June.

Source: Florida Times-Union

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