JACKSONVILLE, Fla — While many businesses and industries are falling victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, home sales are through the roof on the First Coast.
In fact, this month, a realtor magazine ranked Jacksonville as the fourth-most competitive homebuying market in the country. Jacksonville was only topped by San Jose, Raleigh and Pittsburgh, respectively.
The huge spike in demand for homes has jacked up the price tags for those on the market in Northeast Florida.
In July, the average price for a house here was $325,665, a 15.3% jump from June’s average, according to data from the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. August’s numbers have come down a little but still remain historically high.
“We actually have a really — almost — perfect storm arising right now in the market. You can sell for top dollar and then turn around and buy a new home at the lowest interest we've ever had," Redzone Realty Executive Director Darcy Miller said.
Miller said the COVID-19 pandemic has also made families want bigger homes, outside of the urban bubble.
“And they're trying to design or find homes that — believe it or not — don't have as open floor plans," he explained. "They're looking at homes that are more compartmentalized. So, they can use them more functionally — for putting the kids in a room so they can do their homework or the parents maybe have an office so that they can work from home."
Although with more homes are flying off the market at record prices, the inventory is heading the opposite direction.
From July 2019 to July 2020, there was a 30% decline in homes for sale in the area.
“You can turn around and leverage money right now like there's no tomorrow. The issue is, if you sell your house, you have to have a place to go," Miller said. "And so, hopefully, that'll loosen up some you know, as the market it kind of takes shape with that as the demand grows."
Miller predicts the First Coast housing market will stay bustling over the next couple of years.