The real estate market in Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Beaches continues to change and improve. The national housing trends also bear watching. The news is good across major economic indicators as the housing market continues its recovery since bouncing off the bottom in March 2012.
Some of the real estate highlights include:
- Housing prices continue to improve year-over-year albeit at a slowing pace from the double digit improvements experienced in 2013 and early 2014. Price gains have been steadily slowing since December, and the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report issued on 10/28/14 (two month lag time) showed that U.S. single-family home prices gained just 5.1% over prices one year earlier.
- Groundbreaking on new homes was up 17.8% year-over-year in September, a 6.3% increase over the prior month.
- In September, existing home sales hit their fastest pace so far for 2014.
- As of August 2014, average home prices across the U.S. are back to their spring 2005 levels for the National Index.
The above data appears to indicate that the market is normalizing with rapid price gains now behind us and slow, but steady, growth in front of us.
On a macro-level several other developments are worth noting:
- Federal regulators approved plans last week to expand available credit and to loosen rules on mortgages in response to complaints that tight credit policies have kept too many deserving people from qualifying for mortgages (including, it appears, Ben S Bernanke, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve!).
- Mortgage rates have fallen for the last five weeks, with the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropping last week to 3.92 percent, its lowest point since the week of June 6, 2013.
When looking at the Ponte Vedra Beach real estate market and the Jacksonville Beaches real estate market, we continue to see very favorable increases in both prices and sales. Our team is projecting the highest fourth quarter sales ever (based on signed contracts to date)! In addition, we are experiencing high levels of interest from people looking for homes for sale, both local and out-of-state, that indicate a strong start to 2015. The inventory of homes for sale in Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach remains low at only about 5 months.